Student Group Invites Educator with Tourette’s to Share Importance of Tolerance
Marc Elliot, tolerance educator, will present “What Makes You Tic?” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Casado Campus Center atrium at Friends University. This event is sponsored by the Diversity Committee of Falcon Activities and Campus Events, which is a branch of Student Government Association.
Two days after Elliot was born, he was diagnosed with a rare birth defect called Hirschsprung’s disease. His doctors discovered that he had barely any working intestines. After seven experimental surgeries and four years of being in and out of St. Louis Children’s Hospital, he survived his ailments with a strong heart and unbreakable will. However, his medical challenges did not end there. By the age of nine he was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes him to make involuntary motor and vocal tics.
In dealing with his challenges, Elliot has gained uncommon insight into the importance of understanding other people’s differences. In addition, he has learned the value of humor and its necessity in our daily lives as well as the power of perseverance. These insights have given him the incredible opportunity to inspire and teach his peers and adults alike.
After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2008, he embarked on a remarkable journey. In his inaugural year he traveled across the country and internationally, sharing his story and message with more than 15,000 individuals. A documentary has been created about him that has been seen by nearly 80,000 people worldwide, and he was featured in the online “Patient Voices” section of The New York Times.
Elliot’s inspiring speech, “What Makes You Tic?” is loaded with timely humor, powerful anecdotes and fundamental lessons of tolerance to encourage audiences to “Live and Let Live,” leaving them motivated, better-informed and reflecting on their own lives.
This event is open to the public. General admission is $3. Friends University students, staff and faculty may attend free with their ID.