Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor
Diann Shaddox's Story
Diann was born on December 18th in a small southern town of Nashville, Arkansas, the youngest and only daughter of William and Mary Ann Shaddox. But, fate stepped in and William, a crop-duster, at the age of 25, died in a plane crash on November 20th, a month before she was born, therefore, Diann was never able to meet her father. Mary Ann, who grew up in Miami, Oklahoma, moved back to Miami after William’s death, where Diann lived until her mother died when she was only 3 years old. Diann then moved to Nashville, Arkansas to live with her grandparents. At the age of 10, Diann’s Granddad Holt died of a stroke, leaving her grandmother alone to see to her.
Diann learned from an early age about death and how life should not be squandered. Her Mamow Holt, who had lost her right hand in an accident at a factory in Nashville, Arkansas, taught her that you never give up. Her grandmother never let anything stand in her way. She taught herself to write, cook, and even how to sew and make quilts with her left hand, without any prosthetics. Being handicapped was a word she never used.
Growing up in a small town was wonderful, learning to fish, growing a garden and the most important thing, patience of a grandmother. Stories from the past evolved of family bringing many stories to life. Sitting out late at night on cool summer evenings, swinging on an old swing staring up at the stars helped Diann’s vivid imagination grow.
She has an enthusiasm for travel and living life to its fullest. You have only one life and shouldn’t waste it. The zest for meeting and getting to know people is a very important component in her life. She is a believer of herbs, natural and organic foods, and a big supporter of Bio-identical Hormones and keeping our planet green.
Diann has lived in eight great states, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, New Jersey, Virginia, Texas, and Florida. South Carolina is now her home with her husband, Randy, her greatest supporter.
Living with Essential Tremor
I was in my early twenties when life changed for me. My hands began to shake when I’d do tedious work. No one, not even doctors, could figure out what was happening and they, the doctors, believed I was nervous and I just needed to calm down.
One day, when I was standing at the post office window in Louisville, Kentucky changed my world. You see a simple form containing my name and address I wasn't able to fill out. I could hear the whispers and comments from people standing in line behind me The confused look of the post office worker's face told the entire story.
I had been taught not to show my feelings in public, but tears flowed down my face as I raced, clutching my package in my arms, out of the building. That one day I had to find my answer and I went out on my own to figure out what was happening to me. Without my GP or insurance permission, I found a Neurologist and made an appointment. That day in the doctor’s office, I finally made the discovery that I had Essential Tremors.
I was relieved to know what I had, but didn't really understand what Essential Tremor was. I thought I was the only person with this problem and didn't bring it up with my friends and family, unless someone asked.
Not letting anything deter me, I continued life with the determination that I’d learned from my grandmother. I was unrelenting to do tedious work like counted cross-stitch on linen, and playing the piano even with trembling hands. It was as if my mind would relax letting my hands work without thinking. I learned to hide my hands out in public, to grip my drinking glass with both hands, and how to use my body for cover as much as possible.
Things seemed to be working for many years, but on my birthday, December 18th, 2010 my hands were shaking uncontrollably, 2010 had been a year when many people began to question and stared at me wondering why I was nervous or thinking maybe that I was just weird. Being out in public was difficult, the stares were tough, and once more, the simple feat of filling out forms was devastating. Even being in a doctor's office was difficult, as they, nurses, questioned why I was so nervous and shaking so much, giving me stares.
That night of December 18th, I sat in my office and anger grew watching my hands quiver as they hovered over the keyboard, and for once in my life I felt sorry for myself. The question of why, a question without an answer played in my mind. Being a writer the words began to flow and Quaid Witherspoon, a famous artist, was born. A man who had everything or so he thought, but now his hands had deserted him and his life of painting had ceased, becoming a bitter man. The story of Quaid Witherspoon, the novel 'A Faded Cottage', became an incredible love story, one about strength of mind to fight fate and never accept what life throws at you.
I found out that I wasn't alone and millions of people worldwide had Essential Tremor. I began to do book signing and would ask if anyone knew what Essential Tremor was. Again, I was shocked that no one knew what ET was even though it is the largest and most common movement disorder, 10 times larger than Parkinson’s. It seemed that 99% of the time the answer was no. Many police departments even answered the same.
Through this process of bringing A Faded Cottage to life, I have learned so very much. Finding the ET Facebook groups, talking and listening to everyone’s stories at book signings, stories that are so similar to mine, has brought calmness to my life. We have to tell others about ET, so people who live with ET aren't sitting alone wondering why this is happening to them.
Even though the stares will forever be, I won’t give up. Now, I’m even more determined the word will spread about Essential Tremor and I’m going to help make it happen. For each book sold of “A Faded Cottage,” 100% of the sales will go to Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor to make a difference.
What is Essential Tremor?
Essential Tremor is the largest and most common movement disorder in the world and is 10 times larger than Parkinson’s. Essential Tremor (ET) is a progressive neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs, or trunk. Over 10 million Americans, including children, have Essential Tremor. That’s about 5% of all people in the United States. For comparison sake 7.8% of the population have some type of diabetes. Most people though haven’t heard about Essential Tremor and the Diann Shaddox Foundation for ET is adamant to bring attention to the world.
First and foremost, ET can begin at any age, from ages 1 to 100. ET doesn't discriminate with age, race, sex, or national origin. The Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor can make a difference in millions of people’s lives and directly change the future for everyone who will inherit or develop ET but we need your help. We want to show that Essential Tremor isn’t just for the elderly, but children of all ages have ET. Many people with ET have lost their jobs and college students are having their dreams of special careers disappear before they have a chance to begin. We have to bring people out of hiding and educate teachers in school so children and teens aren’t bullied about their tremors. The stories are endless from people with Essential Tremor struggling with depression. We will make a difference and bring awareness to businesses, schools, and first responders.
Diann Shaddox is Founder of Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor, author, mother, grandmother. Diann has been an activist for ET and been working to bring awareness to the world through ‘A Faded Cottage’ a SC love story about an artist who develops ET.Diann is adamant to bring a change in movement disorders because she has ET. 100% of the sales of Diann's book, A Faded Cottage go to Diann Shaddox Foundation to help find a cure for Essential Tremor.
Diann is also the author of "Whispering Fog" a time travel & Miranda, a love story.
Diann learned from an early age things may look impossible, maybe risky or pointless, but you have to give it a try or you'll never know if you don't give yourself a chance.
A FADED COTTAGE
When a love letter written by a teenage boy becomes lost after a summer filled with passion, it brings about an incredible love story of two people being reunited, after thirty years.
When Essential Tremors take over a famous artist’s body, a simple feat of holding a paintbrush turns Quaid Witherspoon’s life upside down, becoming a bitter man. This is his journal of how he battles fate, not of his entire life, but of two weeks. Quaid had everything money could buy, except the two things he loved the most, his love of painting great masterpieces, and the only woman he had ever loved. The calming waters off the coast of South Carolina calls Quaid back to Hathaway Cove, to a small, faded cottage, one with a leaning front porch, worn paint so similar to him, flawed. The same beach where he began painting as a young boy, the place he met his one true love, and the place he let her go.
Sandy, Quaid’s love from his past, learns he is wondering about her, just as she is wondering about him. Their love is alive, meeting for the first time in thirty years, letting the years fade away, but fate has another twist. Sandy keeps a secret, letting them have their two weeks.
What if you were able to relive your life and rediscover you teenage love… Would you?
To learn more about Diann go to: www.diannshaddox.com
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