Nov 24, 2013

Corynna gets proclamation designating awareness day

GREENVILLE – Her room had an Indian pattern theme. Behind her was a pink dress on a manikin. Next to it was a Christmas tree. Corynna’s mom, Kristy Strawser said they were moving Christmas up this year… two days after Thanksgiving.

“I always wanted to go to India,” said Corynna, acknowledging the Indian theme in her room. “I really wanted to incorporate those patterns.”

The pink dress?

“I’m a make-up artist,” she said. “We were going to a photo shoot. I was going to wear the dress… but I couldn’t do it. I got sick.”

She was broken-hearted, Kristy said. They gave her the dress. Corynna said she can still fit into it.

“People ask me how we got Corynna’s name,” Kristy said at one point, adding that sometimes she does ‘fun Corynna facts’ on Facebook… “It was the only name my husband and I could agree on. Even members of our own family didn’t know that.”

Such is the life, dreams and challenges of one Darke County teenager and her family. Corynna had a half dozen blue rubber bracelets on one arm, each saying “Courage For Corynna.” Kristy removed them and handed them to the visitors.

A Proclamation from the Darke County Commissioners was presented to Corynna at 1 p.m. Nov. 20. All three commissioners, Mike Stegall, Diane Delaplane and Mike Rhoades were on hand. When the visitors first started arriving, Corynna was using her oxygen mask and not yet comfortable in removing it. Several minutes later, when comments started about her hair, she removed the mask to show it off. She appeared more comfortable.

“I had lavender hair on the ends,” she said in her quiet voice. “You know?” she added, “I want all my hair lavender.” She talked about the number of times she had to dye it to get the color she wanted.

It worked. It was perfect for 16-year-old Corynna Strawser.

Corynna suffers from mitochondrial disease and is seeking to raise awareness of a disease no one knows about and for which there is no cure.

According to the commissioners’ proclamation, the disease strips the body of energy, depriving vital organ systems of the energy needed to survive.

Since getting the disease, Corynna has been actively trying to get the community to become aware; she has attracted the attention of thousands in and outside of Darke County.

“She can’t get out to talk about this,” Kristy said. “The community has been wonderful… they are doing it for her.”

“Courage for Corynna” T-shirts are available at Cavalier Clothing. Proceed go to research for mitochondrial disease.

“Many members of the community have already resolved to join together on Nov. 25 to show their support for the Strawser family and all others suffering from mitochondrial disease…

“Therefore be it resolved that the County of Darke hereby proclaims, declares and resolves that November 25, 2013, be designated as Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Day, and all residents of Darke County are invited to participate in showing their support, in helping find a cure for this disease.”

The signed and framed proclamation was presented to Corynna by the Darke County Commissioners.

Left to right, standing behind Corynna, mom Kristy Strawser, and Commissioners Mike Stegall, Diane Delaplane and Mike Rhoades.
Commissioner Mike Stegall presents the Darke County Commissioners Proclamation designating Nov. 25 as Mitochondrial Disease to Corynna Strawser.


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