Franks and Tourette syndrome
Tourette syndrome is a complex neurological condition that causes involuntary muscle movements and vocal sounds. Tourette syndrome is also associated with other conditions including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety and sleeplessness.
In 2009, Frank’s son Luca was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and at the same time, so was Frank. It was a revelation that explained many of the difficulties Frank experienced in his childhood and adolescent years. Today, Luca bravely exhibits a variety of tics including spitting, whistling, head shakes, arm flapping, grunts and moans. As well, he lives with OCD, ADHD, anxiety and sleeplessness every day. The symptoms affect Luca’s ability to learn and focus in school making each day a challenge.
Frank believes that Tourette syndrome is a gift for him rather than a disability. He embraces and channels his OCD to be the perfect baker (every cookie MUST look the same!). Frank manages to control his tics by walking and counting his steps, however when he is stressed or tired, his tics become more apparent. His ability to super focus is what has helped make Franks Catering & Baked Goods a success story.
Frank, his staff, his family and friends have worked tirelessly for the past 6 years to raise money for Tourette syndrome. Their annual fundraiser has enabled the Ottawa Chapter of Tourette Canada to execute the Spartico Awareness Campaign in the Ottawa Carleton region. Because of the Spartico Awareness Campaign, thousands of people are more educated on Tourette Syndrome. Mental/neurological literacy is imperative for a more tolerant and empathetic society.
If you know someone with Tourette syndrome please give them a hug (if they let you!) and allow them the freedom to tic away unencumbered by any preconceived notions of what society rules “acceptable” behaviour.
If you know someone struggling with Tourette syndrome please give the Ottawa Chapter a call @ 613 823 0675 and ask for Jill Bobula.
Franks started fundraising for the Tourette syndrome Awareness bus campaign by offering $1 sandwiches with a donation.
This yearly event generated thousands of dollars in donations to Tourettes Ottawa for over four years.
Last year the event morphed into a dinner/dance at the Walter Baker Centre. It allowed the friends and family of “Franks” to have a “few” drinks together in a less chaotic atmosphere.
Another dinner and dance was planned for May 2020 at the Ukrainian Hall but unfortunately it was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.