Local Student Awarded International Essential Tremor Foundation Scholarship

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The International Essential Tremore Foundation offers educational support for student affected by incurable neurological condition.

Samantha Trussoni

After this long journey I have endured my goal has changed. I now want to spend my career advocating for people with essential tremor to perhaps find funding for research, services, education and most of all, the quality of life for these individuals.

The International Essential Tremor Foundation (IETF) is pleased to award a $500 scholarship to student Samantha Trussoni from Lacrosse, Wis., for the 2016-2017 academic year. Trussoni is one of four students from across the nation to receive a scholarship award from the IETF.

Trussoni, the once bright, cheerful girl, plummeted into complete isolation and despair after learning her diagnosis of essential tremor (ET) just weeks before her 20th birthday. Her world had been turned upside down. As a result, Trussoni decided to adopt Koda, her new therapy dog and new positive inspiration. “He kept me busy so I didn’t focus on my diagnosis and soon became the only support I looked to,” she said.

Through the help of Koda, Trussoni began to change her attitude and use her diagnosis as an opportunity to raise awareness and educate the individuals around her about how essential tremor affects her life. She now actively voices her experience and diagnosis to students and professors, co-workers and bosses, and friends and community members she meets through volunteer programs. Trussoni plans to continue her social work program at the Winona State University in hopes of gaining a better understanding for children or adults diagnosed with a neurological disease.

“After this long journey I have endured my goal has changed. I now want to spend my career advocating for people with essential tremor to perhaps find funding for research, services, education and most of all, the quality of life for these individuals,” Trussoni said.

Essential tremor is a neurological condition that affects more than 10 million Americans. ET causes rhythmic shaking of the hands, head, and voice. ET is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease, although eight times more common. ET is characterized by action tremor, making everyday tasks such as eating, drinking, and writing difficult if not impossible. There is no cure for this life-altering condition.

IETF scholarships are awarded to qualified students of all ages who have been diagnosed with ET, to lessen the burden of higher education. The scholarship can be used for supplies, books or tuition at licensed, accredited institutions of higher education (including trade schools) and are paid directly to the educational institution. For more information about the IETF scholarship program, please visit http://www.essentialtremor.org/about-the-ietf/scholarships.

About The International Essential Tremor Foundation:
Headquartered in Lenexa, KS, and founded in 1988, the International Essential Tremor Foundation is the leading organization in the world dedicated to those affected by essential tremor. The mission of the IETF is to fund research that will find the cause of essential tremor and lead to better treatments and a cure, increase awareness about ET, and provide educational materials, tools and support to healthcare providers, the public, and those directly affected by ET.

The IETF has distributed nearly $1 million in research grants, to fund numerous promising studies, in the search for the cause of ET. The Foundation has hosted numerous community awareness events across the U.S. to provide those affected with the basic knowledge necessary to become their own advocate when seeking treatment. And, the IETF also provides assistance to a vast network of support groups around the world. To learn more about essential tremor and the IETF mission, visit the IETF website at http://www.essentialtremor.org.

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Patrick McCartney
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