"I am brave. I am strong."

March 26, 2019
Topics: Riley Kid Story

allie b iamge
Allie Bowman with Riley Child Life Specialist Jodi Bauers

My name is Allie Bowman. I am 12 years old and have Tourette syndrome, but it does not define me. 

I feel like I have come a long way because of the doctors at the Simon-Skjodt Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit at Riley Hospital. They have helped me grow as a person and to see that I have so much to offer. 

I feel like Dr. Anne Lagges has helped me the most. She has given me tools that help go against my ticks. She was always there for me when I was going through a tough time. 

The first time I had to stay in the hospital, it was really tough. I was there for eight days and 

I was really scared. Then I met Jodi Bauers. She is a Child Life Specialist. She helps me so much. We made crafts and played games and other fun things, but we were also learning skills and tools to help me handle my ticks. Jodi made it more comfortable to be in the hospital. 

Sara Midura with the Riley School Program was also amazing. She helped me write poetry and that makes me feel more confident about myself and my Tourette. She helped me with school and with how I was feeling each day. I could express myself through my poems.

I am really happy that Riley was there for me, and I could go there and get help. I still get so much help there. I am really thankful for that. 

I am Allie. I am not my Tourette. I am brave. I am strong. 

Riley staff members helped Allie express herself by writing original poems, like this one:

Tourette syndrome.
The definition somewhere
Between the lines
Of an imbalance of the
Neurotransmitter dopamine
And uncontrollable movements
Caused by that imbalance.
My cup is always full.
I’m always steaming tea
At the top of the cup,
Boiling up,
Burning hot.
But then you take
A sip of awareness 
And I can finally 
Throw that spare 
Tea bag away, 
Knowing that 
I’ve done good today.

Click here to read the entire Spring 2019 Messenger online. 

Allie Bowman

Allie Bowman is a 12-year-old Riley patient from Bloomington, Ind. She enjoys writing poetry, musical theatre (especially “Hamilton,”), playing piano, writing poetry, raising chickens, crafting, drawing, dancing and serving as an advocate for Tourette syndrome.

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