Highlighting Tampa

Essential Tremor-No Longer A Secret

Posted on 07/19/23

By Gezil Andrews, Sun City Center Support Group Leader, International Essential Tremor Foundation

Silence. Polite smile. Curious eyes. This is the reaction I get every time I tell someone that I have Essential Tremors. Their eyebrows usually turn up as if in a question mark. How can 10x more people have Essential Tremors than Parkinsons and it be a secret? Not enough people, including medical personnel, know about Essential Tremor. Essential Tremor is real, and we live with its challenges day in and out. As a genetic disorder, it is passed on to our children, grandchildren, brothers, and sisters.

Finding resources for those suffering from Essential Tremor can be challenging. While it is a common disorder, the International Essential Tremor Foundation is working to provide hope to the essential tremor (ET) community worldwide through awareness, education, support and research.

According to Mayo Clinic, Essential tremor (ET) is a neurological condition that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking. It can affect almost any part of the body, but the trembling occurs most often in the hands, especially when doing simple tasks, such as drinking from a glass or tying shoelaces.

Essential Tremor has been part of my health and life journey for over 7 years. It is devastating and disrupting to eating skills, walking, talking, etc. It affects about every body function that involves my head, mouth, arms, and hands.

That means the coffee spills when I raise the cup, salad flies off the fork, puddings and ice cream plop on the table, and napkins pile up in my lap like a silent garbage truck. So often a bit of food lands on skirt, jeans, shorts, or slacks, so I hurry up and use my spot remover to save my clothes when I wash them.

Essential Tremor affects people of all ages. Many younger people are now being diagnosed with ET, but there is hope with more resources and support groups available from the International Essential Tremor Foundation.

Learn More about Essential Tremor Support Groups.

Jillian Mars will join the Sun City Center Essential Tremors Support Group as a guest speaker, via ZOOM on July 18, 2023.

Jillian experienced symptoms and thought she might have Essential Tremor because her dad was diagnosed, but she didn’t get an official diagnosis until she was in her twenties. However, the diagnosis changed her life for the better. She uses her diagnosis and experience to spread awareness and create positive social impact.


Jillian has been fully engaged in awareness and fund-raising efforts about Essential Tremor. She was awarded the Laurie Ann Gilbert Quality of Life Award for her passion and dedication to her social impact initiative. Jillian is just one of many young people who form the bridge between the younger generation and the older adults with Essential Tremor.

Anyone who has any questions can contact Gezil Andrews, Sun City Center Support Group Leader by phone, 309-660-1091 or by e-mail to gcw3934@yahoo.com. Gezil has a blog on Living with Essential Tremors: Awomanandherstories.com. Contact the International Essential Tremors Foundation (IETF.org) as well with any inquiries.

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