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2014 Celebrity Benefit for Tourette Syndrome Awareness

What is Tourette Syndrome? Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological condition that causes children, teens, and adults to make sounds and movements that they don’t want to make and cannot control. These sounds and movements are called tics. TS is an often misdiagnosed and misunderstood neurological disorder that’s a lot more common than people think. People with TS are not psychologically impaired, less intelligent, obstinate or purposefully disruptive. And contrary to what you may have heard, fully 85 to 90% are NOT prone to using inappropriate language.

Tracy Flynn and Keith Collins
Tracy Flynn and Keith Collins
Steve Mack/Getty Images

On June 12, the 2014 Celebrity Benefit for Tourette Syndrome Awareness was held at NYC’s exclusive Empire Hotel's Level R Rooftop Bar & Lounge. The event was hosted by actor and advocate Keith Collins, former NY Yankee Billy Sample, celebrity photographer Steve Mack, singing sensation Delisco James, winner of E!'s "The Entertainer" and current star of the "Thank You Michael - The Michael Jackson Experience" tour.

Collins who has suffered from TS and was diagnosed at age five, said “awareness is the key-- education and getting the word out there to the public."

Many people are not aware of the struggle that TS sufferers face on a daily basis. The disorder can be a very embarrassing, and there is no cure. Collins also stated that even with the many struggles he has endured with TS, he wouldn’t give it up.“It’s a part of me and has made me who I am today," he shared."I treat all people with kindness... it’s made me a better man and I'm proud to have TS."

The charitable benefit was attended by ABC News anchor N.J. Burkett, The Naked Cowboy & Cowgirls, the original Village People Indian, Felipe Rose, actresses Julianne Michelle and Nana Goueva, Comedian Eman Morgan, Tourette Syndrome Association's Tracy Flynn, and nightlife impresario Tony Theodore.

For more information or to donate to The National Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc., a national non-profit organization dedicated to identifying the cause of, finding a cure for, and controlling the effects of Tourette Syndrome, please visit www.TSA-USA.org