Remarkable Women 2021: June Strayer

Women's History

ALBION, Ind. (WANE) – WANE 15 is introducing you to another Remarkable Women finalist of 2021.

June Strayer isn’t native to Indiana. But through a personal illness, she’s been able to help people across the Hoosier state.

“My doctor said, “You don’t understand. This could kill you. You have to go now. You have acute pancreatitis,”” said June Strayer.

In 2012, June received that diagnosis, unsure if she would live to see another day. Doctors told her husband if she makes it through the night after being admitted to the emergency room, she has a good chance.

The Canadian native and now Albion resident did make it. But then the confusion set in, what is pancreatitis?

“I remember sitting up and opening an iPad and googling what was wrong with me…and basically what happens is your pancreas starts digesting itself,” said June.

June said the disease is painful and lonely.

“There’s no way that I’m the only person that has gone through this that doesn’t know what is going on,” she wondered after receiving her diagnosis.

That got her to start the only National Pancreas Foundation Chapter in Indiana in 2016.

“They were so relieved to finally meet somebody who knew exactly what they were going through…and people can’t see that. Because you look fine. And they don’t look at you as someone with a chronic illness,” said June.

Right after June started the Indiana Chapter, she found herself facing another illness and started receiving radiation for a non malignant brain tumor. While going through this, her husband, Rodney, never left her side.

But this past year, she found herself in the care giving role. Rodney suffered a COVID related stroke.

“It was very scary. And you know, in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “Don’t get sick. Don’t get sick.” Can’t have the both of us down,” said June.

Rodney nominated June for Remarkable Women 2021. She received the call she was a finalist while he was in the hospital.

“You know. I don’t think anything of doing this stuff, you know. I don’t usually make a big deal out of it. But, not knowing how he was going to come out of it, it was like this could be that last thing he ever says to me,” said June.

Rodney can’t remember what he originally wrote about June while nominating her for Remarkable Women. But he know it’s still true.

“She deserves it. That’s about it. I can’t say much more. I just get all weepy eyed,” Rodney said.

Rodney is currently receiving therapy for his stroke. June is still hosting events for the National Pancreas Foundation Indiana Chapter via online. June said it’s been hard, but this time has brought them closer together.

Join us Thursday, April 1st as we will reveal the winner of Remarkable Women 2021 live on First News.

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