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The NTF would like to thank Marcus Baker for raising over £300 by doing a live computer game charity stream on 5 November for the NTF and to raise awareness of essential tremor. Marcus shares his personal story of living with tremor.

My name is Marcus, I’m 33, and I’m a Territory Manager (TM) for Microsoft – this means I train retail professionals in our retail partners (Currys, John Lewis etc.) on Microsoft products & services. I’ve been working as a TM for just over a year now and my ultimate dream is to work for a game studio like Playground Games or Rare.

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Since I was a teenager, I have lived with an essential tremor (ET) - this started after hearing some bad news from my parents and I remember shaking uncontrollably for a good few hours. Initially I thought this was just shock, but it didn’t just go away or ever stop completely. Perhaps it was just this ‘episode’ that brought my attention to the tremor, but I spoke to a couple of doctors and was told various things. One even suggested ‘having a drink’ as this would help to calm me.

Over the years I have tried a few different things, from CBT to diet changes, or even medication. The tablets did help, but I wasn’t sure if this was just psychological, and my sleep suffered. Like everyone I am shakier when I’m anxious, excited, or even just tired, but anyone with a tremor will know there are certain things that make it even worse, and lack of sleep is one of them. So, I stopped taking the medication and have tried to ‘live with it’ ever since.

 As each year passes, I notice my tremor gets worse. Simple things like drinking or eating become more difficult, but like most conditions I have good days and bad days. I have done varying different degrees of research over the years into ways of helping ‘cure’ or reduce a tremor as I worry that it will impact my personal and professional life as time goes on. Already it affects what I am comfortable doing when it comes to my work, and it impacts my enjoyment of taking geeky photos for my gaming Instagram (@marcusoft365). My biggest worries are how it will affect my enjoyment of video games (it already has a negative impact) or more importantly how it will affect my interactions with any children I have in the future. For example, when my nephew was born I worried how I would spoon feed him. 

Just after starting work for Microsoft, I was introduced to a video all about something called ‘Project Emma’. The wearable device, originally intended to help Emma Lawton with her intentional tremors as part of her Parkinson’s, is something I would very much like to try for myself to see how it could help people living with tremors. It gives me hope to think that there are new forms of ‘treatment’ for something that affects me day in and day out, and the fact the company I now work for is investing money into helping people like this makes me immensely proud.

The NTF looks forward to Marcus' next charity stream!

Support Marcus by going to his GoFundMe page.

Why not take part in a challenge for the NTF and raise awareness of neurological tremors? Get in touch.