Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District spoke today on the House floor to bring attention to Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month. Luján shared a letter he received from, Alexander Dennis, a constituents from Rio Rancho who has been working to bring awareness to the disorder. Below are his remarks as prepared.
“Mr. Speaker, last week I had the opportunity to meet with a bright young boy who was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and is working to bring attention to this disorder. His passion is an inspiration, and I want to share his own words about the importance of raising awareness:
Dear Congressman Luján,
My name is Alexander Dennis. I live in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and am 14 years old. I grew up with a neurological disorder called Tourette Syndrome. It causes me and about 200,000 others in the United States to make sudden movements and uncontrollable sounds.
This disorder affects me daily and is a lifelong condition. There is no cure for Tourette Syndrome. I have to live daily with painful neck and full body jerks. Others with this disorder have different severity levels and different types of movements. It is noticeable to others but I do not know that I am doing the movements sometimes.
There are not many doctors that are experienced with Tourette Syndrome and it took me four years to be properly diagnosed.
May 15 through June 15 is Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month and I am writing to you because I am working to raise awareness to the challenges people that have this syndrome face. Any help that you can give will be greatly appreciated by me and all that suffer from this disorder. Thank you.
“Thank you Alexander for your voice, and I look forward to working with you on this issue.”