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Playwrights earn national recognition

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A team of local writers have been given national recognition for their efforts in raising awareness and money for research for a rare disease, epidermoysis bullosa, EB.

"What Were We Talking About?" is a play written by Gale Alexander, Vickie Cawthra, Linda Stoval and Gretchen Wheeler to raise awareness for a disease that afflicts Alexander's granddaughter, Ella Murray of Virginia.

The play, which tells stories of challenge, premiered at Stage III in Casper in July 2012. It was performed in Spring Lake, New Jersey, in October 2013, and will be produced in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2015. Proceeds from the play go to Debra of America, the only nonprofit for EB that funds research to find a cure while also providing programs and services for patients and families suffering from this rare disease.

The play has raised thousands of dollars, making it a top fund-raising event for EB, and setting it apart for recognition at the Annual Debra Benefit held in New York City last Wednesday. The event was the kick off for National EB Awareness Week, October 25-31, 2014. Local event sponsors, EB families, doctors, researchers, and hundreds who support the search for a cure gathered in New York to celebrate the advances being made for this genetic condition which produces skin that is extremely fragile and life threatening. EB affects both genders and all racial and ethnic backgrounds equally. As of today, there is no cure or effective treatment, but both are very close.

Community News editor Sally Ann Shurmur can be reached at 307-266-0520; sallyann.shurmur@trib.com; read her blog at trib.com/dishin; or follow her on Twitter @WYOSAS

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