Local Teenager Inspires Cuomo Bridge Lighting for Tourette Awareness [River Journal]

June 20, 2019

Originally published in River Journal on June 20, 2019.

The period of unknowing was difficult for both Alexandra and her family, but they were relieved to finally get a diagnosis. “We were so happy to have a name to what was affecting Alexandra,” Christine said. Alexandra then researched the Tourette Association in order for her to find ways to navigate her new normal.  

However, people were unkind to Alexandra. “There was a time when Alexandra was vocalizing every second and she was afraid to leave the house because she was tired of explaining herself,” Christine said. Alexandra was bullied by random strangers, as well as adults, who called her upsetting names and failed to understand her disorder.  

As a result, Alexandra knew that the way people regard those with Tourette Syndrome needed to change. One day, when Christine and Alexandra were traveling back from an aunt’s house, Alexandra commented about how beautiful the Cuomo Bridge looked. Knowing that LED lights were put into the bridge that could change its color, Alexandra wondered if they could change the lights to teal, the color that symbolizes Tourette Awareness

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Shortly after the Town Board meeting, the Historic Hudson was having an event where senators would be speaking. Alexandra attended the event, as it was a wonderful opportunity for her to share her idea with them. Senator Shelley Mayer met with Alexandra and listened to everything she had to say, providing much support. “From there, Alexandra’s dream took on a life of its own, and I am thankful to the Historic Hudson for putting on this event with the senators,” Christine said.