Biography: Deanna Aikman, Pianist

Pianist Deanna Aikman was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. At an early age, she became the pianist for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. After being named the Most Outstanding Graduate in Fine Arts, University of Regina, Deanna studied with Enrica Cavallo-Gulli, Walter Robert, and Michel Block of the esteemed piano faculty at Indiana University where she was awarded the prestigious Piano Fellowship. She taught as an Associate Instructor while pursuing graduate degrees in Bloomington and gave notable solo recitals. Deanna became known for her sensitive musicianship, accompanying for many musicians such as world-renowned violinist Mihaela Martin, singers Walter Cassel and Camila Williams, and harpist Suzanne McDonald. Honors include those from the Canada Council for the Arts, Indiana University and Trinity College, London, England.

In 1997, Deanna, a mother of three young children, was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease, which insidiously has left her nearly totally paralyzed. In spite of this fate, she has continued to face life with a smile, receiving awards and a congressional letter honoring her commitment to the terminally ill and to the equally helpless unborn.