Prior to last October, 17-year-old Thera Sanchez was a cheerleader for LeRoy Junior-Senior High School in New York. She was in excellent health, which makes what happened next very weird. On October 7, she woke up from a nap and had uncontrollable Tourette-like symptoms that have yet to go away as of today.
It has also been reported that she is not alone in this problem as 12 other girls at the high school are experiencing the same set of symptoms. These symptoms include outburst, tics, and shaking.
“I used to cheer every day … I used to go to two art classes every day,” Sanchez said. “Now I’m not in school.”
Health officials from New York said that they have investigated the school but did not find anything that could have caused the strange illness to occur in 13 students.
“The investigation has not revealed environmental or infectious causes as the origin of the students’ illness,” Jeffrey Hammond, spokesman for the New York State Department of Health, said.
Sanchez and Katie Krautwurst appeared on the TODAY show to talk with Ann Curry about the sudden onset of the symptoms and how frustrated they are about not being able to find a cause or cure for the strange illness.
“I’m very angry, I’m very frustrated, no one’s giving answers,” Sanchez told Curry on the TODAY Show. Sanchez also told Curry that she was informed her condition is caused by extreme levels of stress.
No one knows that the girls have but the symptoms they are experiencing are right in line with Tourette Syndrome. This syndrome has symptoms such as head-jerking, throat-clearing, yelling, eye-blinking, eye-darting or shoulder-shrugging. All of these are uncontrolled by the person, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The symptoms usually appear between the ages of seven and ten and the condition is more common for men than women.