A TEENAGER who has battled against the odds to cope with Tourettes Syndrome is to appear in a television documentary to help raise awareness of the condition.

Greg Storey, who lives in Pickering , spent three months working on the series, including several days locally with presenter Reggie Yates.

The 18-year-old was invited to take part in the BBC programme Tourettes: Let Me Entertain You, after demonstrating his exceptional talent for drumming.

“I’ve done a couple of documentaries before to raise awareness of Tourettes but this is the first based on the benefits of music,” said Greg.

“I got to go to some recording studios in London which was just amazing and there was also some filming here as well.”

Film crews visited Norton skate park where Greg is a keen roller-blader and also Malton School where he has just completed his A-levels.

Greg, a former pupil of Kirkbymoorside Primary and Ryedale School , said: “Reggie was a really nice guy and everyone was amazed when he turned up at school as I wasn’t allowed to say anything beforehand.

“It has always been my intention to inform people about Tourettes and what can be achieved and be an inspiration to other people who have Tourettes.

“I want to push myself as far as I can, and thanks to the support of my family, I have been able to achieve so much.”

His sister Elena, 14, and dad, Paul, have mild forms of Tourettes, while Greg’s is more severe. His mum Kim said they had struggled to get the support they needed when he was first diagnosed at the age of six.

“We had a long battle for Greg to be accepted and when the Tourettes really kicked in he couldn’t write or hold a book,” she said.

“Many wanted to write him off but we wouldn’t accept that and we have fought against the odds with support of so many people including his teachers and friends.”

Kim said that Greg has passed three A-levels, including gaining top marks in the country for design and technology, and was starting a degree in concept design and visual affects at Staffordshire University later this month.

“When Greg was diagnosed I struggled to find out any information about Tourettes as it was so unknown in this country,” she said.

“Everything we had taken for granted disappeared overnight. Our lives turned direction and have not been the same since but we have learned so much and our lives have been made that much richer as a result.”

Tourettes causes the sufferer to have involuntary verbal and physical tics and Kim said it had been found that these could be stopped when they are involved in a mental and physical activity including music.“Through drumming, Greg has found the most amazing outlet for his Tourettes but he also has a fantastic talent for it as well,” she said.

“He also plays with his friends in their band Definite Article and has been busking to raise money towards university. We know people in the area with Tourettes who dare not come out of the house which is so wrong.”

Kim said Greg was looking forward to university but also anxious about how people might perceive him.

“People in Ryedale have been incredible. All the shopkeepers in Pickering know him and the values here have made a wealth of difference for Greg and helped to support and encourage him.

“Seeing Greg off to university will be a really big step for us but we can’t hold him back – it will be one of the hardest and proudest moments of my life.”

  • Tourettes: Let Me Entertain You is on BBC Three, starting on Monday at 9pm.