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Never Give Up: Matric Obtains 7 Distinctions While Battling Tourette Syndrome

You grow when you're out of your comfort zone, says Johannesburg matriculant Noah Tradonsky.

30/12/2016 07:16 SAST | Updated 24/01/2017 21:06 SAST
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Noah Tradonsky

Matric is regarded as one of the toughest years for many pupils and requires concentration and dedication coupled with hours of non-stop studying.

Johannesburg matriculant Noah Tradonsky defied the odds, showing that if you put your mind to it you can do anything.

Noah obtained seven distinctions in the matric exams, in accounting, Afrikaans, English, Hebrew, life orientation, history and mathematics.

What makes his achievements memorable is that he has Tourette Syndrome.

"Having Tourette Syndrome has always been challenging for me. As an active kid to sit around for two hours is difficult and having to listen attentively the whole year to what five or six teachers were saying every day was very difficult," said Noah, who attended King David High School in Linksfield, Johannesburg, and wrote the Independent Examination Board (IEB) exams.

Noah said that participating in extra-curricula activities got him through the year. He played rugby and soccer and was an actor.

"I think the fact that King David offered me sports, where I could let off my energy, and I was involved in the performing arts, helped me. That allowed me to let off some steam. I found that instead of the activities being difficult, they were my down time. I didn't need to go home and chill on the couch because that's not how I let off steam," he said.

Noah was very pleased to have obtained a distinction for English after he had an episode during the exam.

"When I get anxious my cheeks flare up, my hands start to shake and my neck starts rolling. I remember in one of the English exams the clock was ticking down and I was trying to finish my exam but my hands started running around. I kept checking the clock and it was chaos," said Noah.

He has found positives in his situation, embracing his condition and living a happy life in spite of it. He said having Tourette Syndrome taught him many lessons and the fact that life is never bed of roses but full of obstacles.

"I made an active decision when I was still young to make it a part of me and grow from it. You grow when you're out of your comfort zone. It wasn't very easy but it gave me insight into how things work, that everything is not always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes you have difficulties in life and you have to push them," said Noah.

He plans on going to Israel to be part of the Yeshiva institute where students study sacred texts about the Talmud.