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American Idol

James Durbin Gives Hope to Children With Tourette’s Syndrome

James Durbin has risen to the very top of the ranks of the American Idol Season 10 finalists thanks to his rock ‘n’ roll swagger and vocal talent. But it’s James’ backstory that has one young fan rooting for him to take it all in Season 10. Like James, Brandon DiVincenzi of Brentwood, CA has Tourette’s syndrome. The fact that their shared disease hasn’t kept James from tearing it up on the Idol stage has made the rocker a hero in Brandon’s eyes.

"It's been like a coming-out party for Brandon," said Brandon’s mother, Malinda. "Before this, he found it really difficult to accept his Tourette's, or even talk about it. James has put a face on Tourette's and is showing Brandon that he can be comfortable with himself." Brandon reportedly dresses up as James before every Idol episode, wearing the Idol-er’s trademark spiky hair and “tail.” OMG, adorbz!

Alisa Yaffa, leader of a Tourette's syndrome support group, and mother of an 11-year-old son with Tourette’s hails Durbin a "great influence." She says, "People are seeing that Tourette's has no affect on his talent — that it's not holding him back in any way… That's a great message. It's something that gives parents hope, and their kids hope.”

Just add James’ advocacy for the Tourette’s community as one more awesome thing about him. The guy is a rock star!

Source: Mercury News

04.7.2011 / 09:14 PM EDT by David Connell
Related: American Idol, Gossip, James Durbin

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