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Noa Strei

Nine-year-old Noa goes by “Nitro Noa” – and for good reasons. She is a force of nature, unafraid to try things new to her, no matter the obstacle. By sharing her experiences through her YouTube channel, she also provides a boost to other kids who may be nervous about hitting the ski slopes for the first time or visiting the doctor’s office for a medical procedure.  

“We’ve called Noa ‘Nitro Noa’ since she was two,” says her mom, Alysa. “She goes a mile a minute. Nothing is too fast, too high, too far.” 

Noa entered the world 10 weeks early and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. While visits with her general practitioner met her initial needs, her family soon realized Noa needed more specialized and coordinated care. That’s when Noa came to Gillette. 

“Coming to Gillette was amazing because nothing slipped through the cracks anymore,” Alysa explains. “At Gillette, we know Noa’s not missing out on any opportunities or specialists.” 

For Noa, this means visits with physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, physical therapists, therapeutic recreation specialists, and orthopedic surgeons. “When I describe Noa’s care at Gillette to other parents, I say it’s like a spiderweb, with her primary doctor at the center,” Alysa says. 

Whether Noa is visiting Gillette or out exploring the world, she shares her experiences with other kids on her Nitro Noa YouTube channel.  

“I have videos of me going to the skatepark, and waterskiing and snow skiing,” Emma shares. “I also introduce myself and show some of my appointments to let other kids know what they’re like. “It’s sometimes hard, but I like doing it.” 

One video highlights Noa’s experience visiting Gillette for an electroencephalogram (EEG), a test that measures electrical activity in the brain using small, metal discs (electrodes) attached to the scalp. In the video, Noa shares her nervousness about the procedure, how Gillette staff helped ease those feelings, and – of course – her “epic” brain waves. 

Alysa says that – unsurprisingly – Noa makes friends really easily. “Noa likes helping other kids with similar diagnoses. One of her friends was afraid to use her wheelchair. Noa called her and showed her pictures of what it’s like, and then her friend felt good about it.” 

When she’s not out adventuring and connecting with other kids, Noa likes listening to music, traveling with her family, and animals – anything with a heartbeat, according to her mom. She’d like to be a dancer or a vet when she grows up.