‘I’m not the only one’

Christopher Cameron
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Local youth talks about positive experience since meeting Holmes

TRENTON – Liam Cleary watches the balls and strikes come in from above home plate.

Jamie McMaster throws the ball to second base from right field during the final game of the Swing for Tourette Syndrome Lob Ball Tournament on Sunday in Trenton. McMaster and his team lost the final 18-8. 

He wasn’t visible to most, but as one of the spectators during the Swing for Tourette Syndrome Lob Ball Tournament it was a special event for him. As a 12-year-old, he was recently diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome.

Tourette’s is a neuropsychiatric disorder that is characterized by multiple physical (motor) tics and sometimes a vocal tic. After being diagnosed he felt like he was the only one that was that way, but learning that former Weeks Crusher Garrett Holmes also had Tourette’s through the on-ice mocking incident in September, he said he felt more comfortable.

“It was important because before that I thought I was the only one here that had Tourette’s,” he said.

Holmes reached out to Cleary and before one of the Crushers home games last season gave him an old name bar, signed a few things and took him in the locker room to meet other players. Although the pair haven’t talked much they have a forged somewhat of a bond.

Prior to it becoming public that he had Tourette’s, Holmes felt similar to Cleary. Now they both feel more comfortable knowing it isn’t a big deal, it’s just part of who they are. With Holmes holding the inaugural Swing for Tourette Syndrome Lob Ball Tournament over the weekend he hopes that community and comfort grows stronger.

The tournament had six teams involved, with their entry fee and funds collected through draws and a dance going to the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada. After paying for expenses they raised $2,900.

“I didn’t expect that at all,” said Holmes. “I was hoping for a few hundred bucks, but it blew it out of the water.”

Next year he hopes to get more people out, but overall he was happy with the first year. He said he will plan earlier for next summer. Otherwise he said he felt the event went well.

Organizations: Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada

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