TikTok has become a very popular social media platform where most people have fun making silly videos. But sometimes you’ll find something with a very uplifting and positive message. And that is where 16-year-old Shane Koch and his dog come in.
The Florida teenager from Delray Beach lives with Tourette’s syndrome. He has been using the social media platform to raise awareness about his condition and to de-stigmatize what it’s like to live with Tourette’s syndrome.
Joining him on his mission is his faithful canine companion, Callum. Many of Koch’s videos feature him playing with Callum or doing other daily activities with his dog.
Koch, like many people who live with Tourette’s, often experiences repetitive tics or sudden twitches. His videos are mostly showcasing the close relationship between him and Callum, but people do get to see a different side to life with Tourette’s – it definitely de-mystifies certain misconceptions.
The account, “Callum the Ridgy,” shows how much Callum cares for his owner. In one of the videos, Koch fake faints in front of his dog, only for Callum to quickly rush to his side to make sure he’s okay.
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Callum was adopted by Koch back in December 2019. In a video, the teen opened up about how much his dog has helped him. He wrote in the text, “I love you and glad you’re part of my life.”
After creating the “Callum the Ridgy” page, both Callum and Koch have gained lots of TikTok followers – about 1.4 million to be exact.
Speaking with WPEC, Koch started the page because he wanted to show people that Tourette’s isn’t scary and the people living with it can still live normal lives.
He was first diagnosed with Tourette’s when he was eight and was bullied as a child because of it. But even in some of his worst times, Koch knows he can rely on Callum to get him through.
He said to WPEC, “He notices when I do the ticks, he’ll nudge me. He can literally sense when I do those ticks and as I feel it coming and a lot of that stress will go away.”
That is just so sweet. What do you think of these TikToks? Let us know!
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