September 06, 2017 12:38 PM
(ABC 6 News) -The first day of school is in the books and a local cheerleader is not only proving to herself but her teammates, that a disability will not hold her back.
Jane Hamilton, a 14-year-old cheering her way into her second year of high school during Tuesday's pep rally, is not letting anything hold her back, not even Tourette Syndrome.
"When they hear Tourette's they think of some kid who's just cussing and people around them are uncomfortable,” said Jane.
But she also says that’s not the case.
"I'm lucky enough to have somewhat mild Tourette's," said Jane.
"She loves talking to people about it and she loves just helping out whoever she can to make them feel better," said Jane’s mother, Sara Hamilton.
Which is why Jane was chosen as the 2017 Minnesota Youth Ambassador for the Tourette Association of America.
"It's hard for people to open their minds up and understand. I think that's what my mission is to try and help people realize that Tourette's isn't just us trying to be rude or interrupt a conversation or get kicked out of class like we can't help it," said Jane.
When Jane tried out for cheerleading she did have a severe vocal tic at the time which made her coach question how she would make it work, but another question also came to mind.
"Why not? I mean why not give everyone, if she wants to cheer and she's going to put in the effort and be a part of the team, why wouldn't I let her be part of the team," said Jane’s cheer coach, Alyssa Pederson.
"This has made the hugest difference in her life. I mean it has brought her so much joy and she's finally part of a team and part of a group that is really a wonderful way to start off her sophomore year," said Sara.
Not only is Jane a cheerleader, but she's an inspiring speaker, musician, and actress hoping to work on Saturday Night Live one day.
Jane cheered at her first football game not long before school started, but putting down those pom poms is something Tourette’s will not interfere with.
"If I'm the face of Tourette's, how hurtful do you think it would be for me and everyone else who suffers from the same thing I do if I was a quitter, you know. So I'm not going to do that," said Jane.
Created: September 06, 2017 12:38 PM
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