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Hallmark Hall of Fame Collaboration with Patient Organization Equals Extraordinary Success
Date:12/11/2008

Millions View an Accurate and Uplifting TV Movie Portrayal of Tourette Syndrome

BAYSIDE, N.Y., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly 12 million people watched last Sunday night's Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of "Front of the Class," a made-for-TV movie based on the true story of a young man's struggles with and triumph over Tourette Syndrome (TS) to become an award winning teacher. The national Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc. (TSA) is privileged to have collaborated with Hallmark on this inspirational depiction of a much misunderstood but not uncommon neurological disorder.

TSA was approached in the early stages of Hallmark's production to review the script to insure that the disorder was accurately portrayed medically. "We were extremely grateful for the unusual and outstanding cooperation the producers accorded a patient organization such as ours," said Judit Ungar, President, TSA. "Not always does the entertainment industry appreciate the fact that family advocacy organizations can be excellent resources for information. The producers were exceptionally open to our suggestions."

Later on TSA was called upon once again to set up a focus group in Shreveport, Louisiana, where the program was filmed. This request involved contacting local families affected by the disorder and inquiring whether they would agree to be part of a scene depicting a TS support group; a scene which featured actual people - not actors - with TS.

TSA also issued two e-mail blasts to over 23,000 Association members, including medical and educational professionals, to alert and then remind them about the December airing and to ask our contacts to help spread the word.

"We like to think that by alerting our contacts, TSA contributed not only to the success of the Hallmark special, but also served to keep the TS community informe
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SOURCE Tourette Syndrome Association
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