Allison Dyke

Allison Dyke was diagnosed with essential tremor at age four. The struggles of tying her shoes, zipping her coat or even eating were daily chores. Then she realized she wasn’t like other kids.

“Being misunderstood makes you an easy target for bullies, and this is where my true journey began,” Dyke said.

In an effort to boost her confidence, her parents signed her up for sports. The activities were too challenging for her tremor until she found swimming where she was able to gain control over her movements. She began to excel at the sport.

She also decided to compete in pageants. She served as state representative at Miss Great Lakes State and competed in National American Miss Awards, winning top awards. With her growing self assurance, she began to make her mark in her community. Dyke was a swim instructor at her community pool and volunteered at Mel Trotter Ministries where she provided childcare for families in need.

She has been vital to the International Essential Tremor Foundation by organizing two essential tremor awareness walks and raising more than $2,500. She partnered with Spectrum Health to create an ET Support Group for West Michigan, and worked with the University of Michigan School of Dentistry to create a prototype to make oral care easier for those with movement disorders. She was featured in the January 2015 issue of Tremor Talk.

As an incoming freshman at Kuyper College, she plans to major in communications to spread the word about ET.

“ET does not define me. It’s part of what drives me to advocate for others and break stereotypes,” Dyke said.