Day One - National Tourette Syndrome Youth Ambassador/ Leadership Conference - Registration and Orientation

As mentioned in an earlier post, my son Kenny was nominated and selected this year to represent the states of Washington/Oregon at the National Tourette Syndrome Association Youth Ambassador/Leadership Conference at our Nation's Capital in Washington D.C. At this conference both Kenny and I received training on how to advocate for those diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome by educating students, teachers, parents and the community on what this disorder entails and how we can provide support. Kenny meeting other kids around the nation also diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome.
New friendships made! - Evan and Kenny
Laura Preskin instructing parents and Youth Ambassadors on what to expect in the next two days while becoming trained.

Day Two - National Tourette Syndrome Youth Ambassador Leadership Conference

One of our power point cue cards - so true!
Kenny with the founder of the National Tourette Syndrome Association Youth Ambassador Program Jennifer Zwilling. Amazing she was only 12 when she had this vision and now she is in attending Duke University on Scholarship. What an awesome program she developed! Hunter Lindberg and Ethan Kemper - also Youth Ambassadors mentoring new recruits. So impressed by these young men! One of my favorite Youth Ambassadors attending the conference. His name is Mike and really is a remarkable young man in dealing with his Tourettes. Above Jennifer is giving him tips during our training.
Kenny waiting his turn to practice presenting his cue card.
Myself and Kenny with the President of the National Tourette Association - Judit Ungar.

We had the pleasure of having her sit next to us during most of the training - lovely lady!
Jaydon - California Youth Ambassador and Kenny
Kenny having fun with his new friends, especially Mark to his left.
Youth Ambassadors having a blast!
Jon, Hunter and Jennifer Lindberg - This family is truly amazing. They have traveled thousands of miles in reaching out to schools educating students, parents and teachers on Tourette Syndrome. Jon sat next to me during the training - so impressed by this family. They are such a blessing!
Kenny and I just receiving our packets to deliver to our Legislatures during our Trip to Capital Hill the next day.

Day Three - National Tourette Syndrome Association Youth Ambassador Trip to Capital Hill

All 42 Youth Ambassadors from around the country getting ready to make their Trip to the Hill to advocate and educate their Legislative Officials on Tourette Syndrome.
Kenny visiting with fellow Youth Ambassador Evan before boarding the bus for our Trip to the Hill. What a nice guy!

Kenny and I before the Luncheon Briefing at the Senate Dirksen Office Building
Kenny with Elridge Proctor who is the mastermind behind organizing the Youth Ambassador Trip to the Hill. She is amazing!
Kenny meeting with Senator Patty Murray's Legislative Aides
Stephanie and Annie were so receptive and genuine in listening to Kenny's concerns regarding getting appropriated help in schools for children diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome.
Kenny with our Representative - Congressman Adam Smith. We had a quick but productive meeting with Adam right before he had to race out of his office to vote.
Kenny is with Adam Smith's Executive Assistant Rebecca Bryant. This women is fabulous - she took such good care of us. She is so on top of things. We received feedback from her ASAP after sending an email requesting to meet with Adam Smith. She is so efficient and friendly.
Kenny sharing his Tourette story with Adam Smith's Policy Aide Joshua Crosson. Come to find out he is from Lakewood and lived not too far away from us before moving to D.C. What a great guy! We really enjoyed our visit with him.
Kenny even got to sit in Adam Smith's office chair!
Above I am with our Senator Maria Cantwell's Legislative Aid explaining the importance of support for the CDC (Center for Disease Control) - as it is the only government agency which even gives recognition to Tourette Syndrome. Kenny took this picture. I took one of Kenny talking with Janelle as well, but see I somehow didn't get it posted in sequence here.
Kenny with Janelle in front of Senator Maria Cantwell's Office. He did a great job informing Janelle how schools, doctors and the community need to be better informed on how to meet the needs of a child diagnosed with Tourettes.
Kenny standing at attention with a full salute in front of the United States Capital Building indicating "Mission Accomplished"! I am so proud of my boy - he did an amazing job!
Well, the cat was let out of the bag and on the last day word got around that I am the actual "Mrs. Washington 2010!" As you can see I am surrounded by new fans holding my signature Mrs. Washington cards. They told me I pulled a "Miley Cirus" on them. So as a celebrity, I did my duty and signed each one of their cards praying for God's Blessings upon them. Really these kids are the celebrities - as they are rocking the world by sharing their own Tourette Syndrome story and making a difference. My life was so blessed by these children!

National Tourette Syndrome Association Youth Ambassador Leadhership Training

I apologize for not posting in awhile. However, Kenny and I just got back from Washington D.C. last week attending the National Tourette Syndrome Association Youth Ambassador Leadership Training. Kenny was selected on scholarship to represent both Washington and Oregon State! I am so proud of him. At any rate, the month of March has been so busy for our family and April is shaping up to be a bit the same. So hang in there, I plan on posting pictures of our trip by tomorrow! Please check back soon!

Mrs. Washington 2011 - Lisa Bluhm's Send Off to Mrs. America Party

Lisa had a great turn out for her Send Off Party to Mrs. America! Mrs. Washington 2011 - Lisa Bluhm and Mrs. Washington 2010 - Carla Richards Queen Sisters!
My Director Pam is so sweet. She bought my boys chicks for Easter and a Bunny for me. Way too cute. The boys love them, although our chickens are a little jealous!

Laurel Chiten filming "Reconnected" - an alternative treatment for Tourette Syndrome

PBS award-winning filmmaker of “Twistedand Twitch and Shout”, Laurel Chiten (Blind Dog Films) visited Tacoma to film my son Kenny in her newest project "Reconnected”, about the treatment of movement disorders with oral orthotics. Others present were Todd Erik Henry, Chair of the Tourette Syndrome Association of Washington and Oregon, Ken Price - President of the National Spasmodic Torticollis Association (who also has been treated with an oral orthotic), Dr. Mark Cooper, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Washington, and Karla, Jonah and Max who are participants in the South Puget Sound Tourette Syndrome Support Group Kenny and I facilitate.
r Kenny and Jonah, who also has Tourettes Syndrome, have become friends knowing they are not alone with this disorder. The boys have tongue depressors in their mouth to simulate how oral orthotics can help relieve tics associated with Tourettes.