Ringgold teen: "Dude, it's not a wink." - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Ringgold teen: "Dude, it's not a wink."

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RINGGOLD, CATOOSA COUNTY (WRCB)  --  At first glance, high school freshman Moriah Silvers looks like your typical student. What you don't know is she's in a constant battle with her mind and body.

Moriah has Tourette Syndrome. She was diagnosed soon after a deadly tornado tore through her neighborhood last April.

"I started this tic where I did this a lot," she says as she taps her middle finger against the palm of her hand.  

Looking back she says, she noticed some of her tics in elementary school.

"I didn't want to think that my daughter had Tourette," says her mother, Autumn Clark who works at Ringgold High School. "You know you don't want your child to be different, you don't want people to make fun of your daughter, so it was a very hard blow to me when she got diagnosed."

However, Moriah tackled her diversity head-on. Instead of hiding it, she displays it proudly for everyone to see.

"When I figured out what I had and when I started learning about it, I was like, 'wow there's a lot more to know about it than I knew'," Moriah says.  

She trained as a local Tourette ambassador and began speaking to classes across Catoosa County.

"I wanted people to know that it's not just cursing and it's not just moving, there's a lot more that goes into it," Moriah says.  

Her bravery landed her a chance to travel to Washington D.C. to train as a national ambassador and talk with lawmakers.

It's an opportunity her family never dreamed of.

"I'm very proud of her," her mother says, crying.  

Moriah will always live with the disorder, but what truly matters to her is educating others and being understood.

"I want them to know that we can't help it," says Moriah.

Moriah and her mom are traveling to Washington D.C. in mid-April.

To help pay for the trip they're selling T-shirts that say, "Dude, it's not a wink."

If you'd like to purchase a shirt you can contact Autumn Clark by clicking here.

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