Another Fallen

This is a very hard blog for me to write. I sit here in awe of the loss I feel in my heart. My heart dropped when I opened the email from Dr. Strehl's wife informing us of his passing after a long battle with cancer.

2011-10-25_strehlHow ironic that the last week of his life was NUHS' "Frank Strehl Appreciation Week." It almost seemed too appropriate that he was able to SEE, WITNESS and FEEL the love we had for him and the IMPACT he has had, not only in our small NUHS community, but also in our profession. I did not know that my video message to him during his appreciation week would be the last words I spoke to him. My husband (who also had been previously been taught by Dr. Strehl) and I both spent time praying for him, his family, and that he would pull through...and after reading the email that he lost his battle with his family by his side, we sat in silence. 

Dr. Strehl was a pioneer for alternative health for our profession. Not only did I have the opportunity (along with many other students) to work by his side in Washington D.C. for the National Chiropractic Legislative Conference (NCLC) lobbying for chiropractic rights, but I also had the pleasure of sitting in his class as he inspired so many students to go against the grain.

Dr. Strehl had a practice that focused primarily on women's health. He was not the typical chiropractor that focused on physical medicine. He actually rarely adjusted patients in his practice, but provided women with a safer and natural alternative to anything under the "women's health" umbrella. He was a true PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN. He wasn't trying to be the ONE-STOP shop that a lot of chiropractors are trying to achieve. He knew that he could be the BEST by specializing and leaving the physical medicine side of chiropractic to the people that really enjoyed it.

He formulated his own products that his patients used. He dedicated all his energy into being an extraordinary example of what a physician should be. He maintained a full-time practice but at the same time, took time out of his schedule to come and give NUHS students a little inspiration. He also was the Illinois Delegate for the American Chiropractic Association and truly cared about helping progress our profession. Chiropractors like him make me feel PROUD to own the same title. His drive, passion and determination to be the best went against the traditional stereotype of a chiropractor and he dedicated his life to the REAL issues of our profession in D.C.

Dr. Strehl is one of the reasons I began my naturopathic journey. He was a DABCI (chiropractic internist), and he always told me that if I wanted to do women's health in the future, I needed to suck it up and go back to school (his exact words!). So that's when I truly took ownership of my naturopathic journey and since that conversation with him, I have always wanted to specialize in women's health. He was an incredible man. (I was also saddened to learn that a close friend of Dr. Strehl's, Dr. Kessinger, who was a DC and an ND and taught in the DABCI program with him, also lost his battle to cancer this week as well.

Our profession has a hole right now with him gone. I only hope that we can continue the legacy and foundation that he has spent his life building. With this being the third death NUHS has had to experience recently, there is a huge void on campus, so I ask that you keep us in your thoughts.

I've been at NUHS for almost 5 years and have never had to experience such loss as we have experienced in the past two months. Life is so short. I find myself not taking advantage of everything God has blessed me with and this is a wake-up call for me. We cannot be small minions in our profession and depend on the shoulder of the giants (Dr. Strehl & Dr. Kessinger) to pave the entire path for us. We need to take the torch and run with it… hoping that we will make them smile down on us.

Dr. Strehl, you were such a pioneer for what is RIGHT in our profession and in the world. Your work is not finished and I hope we can make you proud by carrying your legacy forth. Thank you for inspiring Ryan and I both to truly love the work we do...despite all the hardships that come along with it. We miss you...

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