Delaney doesn’t have any memories of being in school without her essential tremor (ET) because she was diagnosed at age three. She does remember that in elementary school, her teachers would give her special pencils easier to grip, to help her hold her pencil correctly. While she couldn’t write as well as others, she was able to find a new way of holding her pencil that, while not the perfect technique, helped. And she actually became a member of the handwriting club.
“I believe that no matter what condition a person has, they can shine in their own way,” she said. “That is exactly what I have done.”
Delaney held multiple leadership positions during high school. She was president of the National Honor Society and class president during her freshman and sophomore years. The positions required presentations and speaking on stage. Each time, she said her tremors got “fully involved” but she persevered.
“I don’t let my tremors take what I love away from me,” she said.
She has also served as a volunteer with the Connect with a Wish organization, and with Word of Honor, a program that focuses on honoring the wishes of deceased military heroes. During COVID, she solicited funds to put together goody bags for patients at the Hampton Veterans Hospital (in the spinal cord unit and domiciliary) who were unable to have visits from their families.
She knows that awareness about essential tremor needs to increase so whenever she can, she takes the time to educate others. When someone asks, “why do your hands shake?” she always answers with grace.