On December 18, 2010 I sat in my office and wrote “A Faded Cottage” a SC Christmas love story about an artist who develops Essential Tremor. My life has change dramatically because of this one small book. So today, I have to say "Happy Birthday Quaid Witherspoon."
“A Faded Cottage” is a journal of only two weeks of Quaid Witherspoon’s life and takes place from December 18 to the first of the New Year. I’ve sat back pondered what my life would be like if I’d not published “A Faded Cottage” and continued with my plan of publishing my other books.
I have to believe my journey was for a reason. Life can be a mystery and I wouldn't have taken on the challenge to start a new foundation, Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor if I’d stayed the path that I’d planned.
I became adamant to make a change when I talked to people around the country and no one had heard of Essential Tremor, even though I had been diagnosed with Essential Tremor for over thirty years and over 42 million people in the world have ET. I kept asking myself; how could that be? Something needed to be done. I soon learned that one cold December night changed my life. For the better only time will tell that answer.
It was the night of December 18, 2010, my birthday, a very calm and uneventful night. I couldn't sleep, which isn't unusual for me, so I made my way downstairs to my cubby office. I decided that I’d work on one of my novels.
I sat in front of the computer and began to type, but it seemed my fingers and hands had another idea as they shook uncontrollably hovering over the keyboard. If you've tried to text as you are riding in a car or train when it’s bumpy, then you might understand how difficult it is to type when you have trouble with tremoring fingers hitting the correct keys. I’d learn to deal with my tremors for many years, but this night it became overpowering.
I leaned back in my chair. I sat there and stared at the computer screen. My anger grew watching my hands quiver over the keyboard, and for once in my life I felt sorry for myself. The question of why me, a question without an answer, played repeatedly in my mind.
I took in a deep breath and closed my eyes. I let my tremoring hands type and the words, “Happy birthday dumb-ass” were written across the screen. I laughed and let the words flow and Quaid Witherspoon, a famous artist, was born.
A man who had everything or so he thought, but now his hands had abandoned him and his life of painting had ceased, becoming a bitter man. I didn't plan the story of Quaid that night, but his character emerged from my mind and the story grew, while I told Quaid’s story. 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. ‘A Faded Cottage’ is journal of a famous artist not of his life, but of only two weeks, a love story about aging and two people being reunited after thirty years finding love can conquer all.
Through this process of bringing ‘A Faded Cottage’ to life, I have learned so much and talking, listening to everyone’s stories that are so similar to mine has increased my desire to make a difference.
Essential tremor (ET) Essential Tremor, ET is a progressive neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs, or body. Over 42 million people worldwide (including children) have ET, the largest movement disorder in the world. ET can begin at any age, from birth to 100. ET doesn't discriminate with age, race, sex, or national origin.
Most people believe only older people have ET and that it is just a social problem.
However, ET is DEMORALIZING, DEVASTATING, & DEBILITATING for all ages.
ET is Demoralizing. It is embarrassing when you are not able to hold a pencil or crayon in your hand to write or color and people stare and laugh.
ET is Devastating. Living with uncontrollable tremor makes it difficult to dress and feed yourself. Many people will never live their dream of being an artist, musician, singer, actor, doctor, or nurse.
ET is Debilitating. It isn’t just a social problem when you cut and burn yourself as you try to cook, can’t drive a car, and you are fired from a job because your hands tremor. Many people lose the ability to talk from voice tremors and aren’t able to write or sign to communicate. Suicide & bullying (all ages) is another problem.
The list continues. The answers to help everyone living with ET are to bring awareness around the world and find a cure for ET.
I have become an activist to bring awareness to Essential Tremor. I am now the Founder of the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor a national Non-Profit public organization 501 c(3). DSF, Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor mission is to educate and increase awareness about people afflicted with Essential Tremor. DSF works with people worldwide to show that ET is an international progressive disorder. We are unwavering to assist families with our Anti-Bullying Program, Suicide Prevention Program, Family Assistance Program, and to donate medical research grants to doctors to find a cause and cure. DSF will make a difference in millions of people’s lives and directly change the future for everyone who will inherit or develop Essential Tremor. www.diannshaddoxfoundation.org
Please go to www.diannshaddoxfoundation.org and donate, every penny counts and will bring us closer to finding a cause and cure.
Now, 'A Faded Cottage' has become a vehicle to explain about Essential Tremor and how so many live each day with tremoring hands, head, voice, and entire body.
Diann Shaddox Foundation for ET and I will make a difference please join me.
Diann Shaddox is an author, speaker, and Founder of the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor.
Diann Shaddox is best known for her released books: A Faded Cottage, a SC love story about an artist with Essential Tremors; Whispering Fog, a time travel romance; Miranda, The Pink Rose, a historical fiction, a journal of a young girl living in the late 1800's; Spirits of Sacred Mountain, about a young Native American Indian boy's life spinning out of control and a magical mountain with deep hidden secrets; and The Gatekeeper of Crystal Pond, Not What Lies Above, but Below" www.diannshaddox.com
She was diagnosed with Essential Tremor and has since become an advocate for awareness and research toward finding a cure for ET. She created the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor March 2014.
Diann is a Native American and a member of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma.