By Tammy Dodderidge
IETF Marketing and Communications Manager
The determination and bravery of people with essential tremor is inspirational. It’s particularly touching when it comes from young people.
It’s truly the honor of the International Essential Tremor Foundation to support students with essential tremor as they journey toward adulthood and pursue their higher education. Each semester we award four college scholarships as part of our Catherine Rice Scholarship Program (named in honor of former IETF executive director who had a particular passion for these young people). This year, 100% of GivingTuesday donations made will go to the scholarship fund. GivingTuesday is an international day of charitable giving. This year it takes place on December 3.
Here’s a little bit about some our past student scholars. . . . .
2019 scholarship recipient, Anna Grace Easley, shared with us her story of becoming more frustrated every time she visited the doctor. The realization that her essential tremor would always be a part of her was overwhelming. The “aha” moment came when her doctor asked, “If you could trade your ET for any other disorder, would you?” It gave her a different perspective. She said, “I would not trade it for blindness, deafness, paralysis, amputation or any other physical disability. It was at this moment that I realized how truly blessed I am.”
2018 scholarship recipient Graham Gaddis said having ET has not been easy, but it has made him stronger and given him compassion for others.
“In the shadows and in the quiet, I have found an identity, and much of this identity has developed from facing head-on the difficulties of living with essential tremor (ET). I realize that having ET has actually strengthened my resolve to tackle life’s challenges and achieve my personal goals,” he said.
Four-time scholarship recipient Madison Young is majoring in rehabilitation science in college with plans to become a physical therapist. Because of her ET disability, she feels she will have a better understanding of others who have physical obstacles to overcome.
“It is an empowering feeling to be able to help someone,” she said. “And when you are helping someone and they connect with you because you aren’t perfect either, it makes it all worth it.”
2018 scholarship recipient Deirdre Maciak is looking at a career in nursing or biology because she wants to be able to have a positive impact on others who are struggling with lifelong conditions, like ET. And she’s optimistic about the future.
“I’m not the first or last teenager out there whose plans have been derailed in some capacity due to essential tremor. But, I am part of a generation of people with the condition who have better access to experimental treatments due to research and new discoveries.”
Your Donation Provides Support
Help the IETF continue to provide support for college students with essential tremor by making a donation on GivingTuesday. It makes such a huge impact. Here’s the impact it had on Elizabeth Carroll.
“Your generosity brings me one step closer toward my dream of attending law school in order to become an advocate for students with disabilities,” she said.
Donate through the IETF website or call (toll free) 888-387-3667 to make a donation over the phone.