About 20 years ago, Deborah began her college journey. But she put her aspirations on hold and began raising a family. In 2020, as she watched her two children take part in online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided it was a good time to begin pursuing her dreams once again. So she enrolled at Eastern Michigan University.
She chose recreational therapy as a field of study. It focuses on improving or maintaining the physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual functioning of individuals. As a person with essential tremor (ET), she has used recreational therapy in the form of hula dancing as a means of leisure and relaxation.
She said having ET allows her to see the world from a different perspective, and it has fostered in her a sense of empathy for those facing disabilities.
Since starting back to school, she has had the opportunity to incorporate her ET into one of her projects. She created an adapted version of the game Scrabble using 1×1-inch blocks to elevate the tiles. This allows a person with ET enough surface area to easily pick up the pieces.
“My hope is to educate others on essential tremor and to show people that you can achieve your dreams no matter the circumstances,” she said.