Ohio Senate President Keith Faber (R–Celina) and Senator Bill Beagle (R–Tipp City) today introduced Senate Bill 300, which will designate the month of September as “Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Month” in Ohio. The purpose of this legislation is to raise awareness in Ohio about mitochondrial disease, and to honor an avid mitochondrial disease awareness advocate, Corynna Strawser.

Strawser, a 16-year-old from Greenville, Ohio, was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, and made it her mission to raise awareness and promote research so that others diagnosed in the future might have more information and possible treatment options.

“Corynna Strawser is, simply put, one of our local heroes,” said Faber. “Instead of simply giving up, she took her situation and turned it into a way to help, encourage, and support others and I hope we can help extend her legacy and raise awareness for the cause to which she devoted her life.”

Mitochondrial disease is an illness in which the mitochondria of the body malfunction causing a lack of energy in vital organs, which results in a range of debilitating and sometimes fatal symptoms. The disease can affect areas of the body such as the brain, nerves, muscles, kidneys, heart, liver, ears, eyes, and pancreas.

While suffering from the mitochondrial disease, Strawser lost her ability to walk and experienced many common symptoms of those who suffer from the disease.

“Corynna’s advocacy for mitochondrial disease awareness amid her battle with the terrible disease is nothing short of incredible,” said Beagle. “It is my hope that this bill can continue to bring awareness to the community in her honor.”

After Strawser lost her battle with mitochondrial disease on December 11, 2013, President Faber and Senator Beagle began making plans to craft legislation in her honor, in turn continuing the legacy she left behind.

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