Deanna (Bradley) Slamans was born in a small western Pennsylvania town and spent her early childhood in poverty. Living in housing projects and above a bar, Deanna and her sisters, along with her mentally ill mother and alcoholic grandmother, struggled to make ends meet. After her mother and grandmother's deaths, Deanna and her sisters moved with relatives. After a few short years, Deanna moved to the Milton Hershey School, a boarding school for social orphans, in Hershey Pennsylvania. While there, Deanna learned to play an instrument, sing, and write. But most importantly, she was introduced to the saving love of Jesus Christ.