Springfield, Ohio - Wittenberg University graduate and playwright Dan Stroeh, class of 2001, is accustomed to putting pen to paper and then presenting what he's written to mass audiences. His most recent production was a bit more intimate and clearly more important not only to him but to the thousands like him who have been diagnosed with neurofibromatosis (NF). Last week, Stroeh testified in Washington, D.C. in support of the National NF Foundation research before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee.
Congressman Dave Hobson (R-Springfield) introduced Stroeh and shared, "Dan has used his natural talent in drama and in the theater to help provide greater public awareness about this condition."
Stroeh was diagnosed in 1997 with NF, a genetic disorder of the nervous system, while attending Wittenberg. Now 24, and living in New York City, where he is working on a new play commissioned by the Kennedy Center, this native of Loveland, Ohio, didn't allow the news of having an incurable and often painful disease to slow his dreams.
Instead, he turned his story of treatment, struggles and triumph into a one-man play called it is no desert, which captured the attention of a national audience and garnered him the 2001 National Student Playwriting Award at the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival. The honor, the highest one given to a undergraduate or graduate playwright, is just one step toward what Stroeh has said, "I know God will never give me more than I can handle and that he will use this situation for good."
Stroeh's testimony before the house certainly will help build awareness about NF, which is more prevalent than cystic fibrosis, Duchenne's muscular dystrophy and Huntington disease, yet not as widely recognizable. Stroeh regularly includes information on the disease in his playbills, and donations have been made to the National NF Foundation following each of his performances.
Following his diagnosis, Stroeh received a dual B.A. in theatre and creative writing from Wittenberg, graduating cum laude with University Honors and English Department Honors. Faith, family, friends and fortitude guided him then and continue to do so.
To learn more about the National NF Foundation and to read Stroeh's full testimony visit www.nf.org or call (800) 323-7938.
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