Samantha Trussoni – Lacrosse, WI
Samantha, the once bright, cheerful girl from Lacrosse, WI, plummeted into complete isolation and despair after learning her diagnosis of essential tremor just weeks before her 20th birthday. Her world had been turned upside down. As a result, Samantha decided to adopt Koda, a therapy dog to provide a new, positive inspiration. “He kept me busy so I didn’t focus on my diagnosis and soon became the only support I looked to,” Samantha said.
With the help of Koda, Samantha began to change her attitude about her ET. She used her diagnosis as an opportunity to raise awareness and educate the people 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. Samantha plans to continue her social work program at Winona
State University in hopes of gaining a better understanding for children and adults diagnosed with 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,” Samantha said.