Staying aware of mitochondrial disease

By State Rep. Jim Buchy - Contributing columnist

September is Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Month in memory of western Ohio’s own Corynna Strawser. Corynna dedicated her life to raising awareness for this rare and devastating disease and in her honor Senate Bill 300 was passed to allow us to carry on her fight.

Mitochondrial disease, mito for short, is an inherited chronic illness in which the mitochondria of the infected cells fail to produce enough energy for the organ or organelle to function properly. The disease often shows at birth but has also been known to develop through out a lifetime. Today, one in 4,000 Americans live with mitochondrial disease.

Because the disease has no cure, it is important to recognize and help those who suffer from it. Mito causes insurmountable physical, developmental and cognitive disabilities. Treatments are available but current methods can only slow the disease’s progression and mitigate its symptoms.

Senate Bill 300 was carried by Sen. Bill Beagle and Senate President Keith Faber. Having watched Corynna grow up I was humbled to manage this bill when it came to the House. The bill passed with overwhelming support before eventually being signed into law by Gov. John Kasich on June 17, 2014.

It is our duty to help those in our community in any way we can. Senate Bill 300 and Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Month serve the purpose of getting the general public aware of this very serious disease. The more people who know about the disease and actively pursue new cures and treatments the more likely we are to save those who suffer from it in the future.

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By State Rep. Jim Buchy

Contributing columnist

The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.

The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.