Local student awarded International Essential Tremor Foundation Scholarship

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The IETF offers educational support for student affected by neurological condition, essential tremor.

Austin Siekkinen

Austin Siekkinen

I have learned to adapt to my ET and I don’t let it slow me down.

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

As an incoming freshman to the University of North Dakota, Siekkinen is ready to tackle the challenges of living with his essential tremor while majoring in engineering. During high school, Siekkinen excelled in and outside the classroom. He shined as a multi-sport varsity athlete in football, hockey and baseball all while maintaining a 3.2 GPA. He also participated in engineering club, varsity choir and Spanish club. “Austin’s mental strength is such a defining aspect of his character and one that will get him to be successful in his continuing journey to study civil engineering,” said Laurie Allison, Siekkinen’s English teacher.

Siekkinen served as a mentor for the local kids in his community as a volunteer with the youth hockey and football teams and worked as a volunteer for youth baseball. He was also an active member of his Catholic Young Adults church program. “I have learned to adapt to my ET and I don’t let it slow me down,” Siekkinen 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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