Strouse, 26, of Newville, showed early signs of delayed development as an infant, but it wasn’t until his parents took him to Penn State Hershey Medical Center that they learned the real issue.
At just 10 months old, Strouse was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder that affects the muscles and motor skills.
“We left Hershey feeling like somebody had slammed us against a brick wall,” said Dillon’s mother, Colleen. “Never did we expect the diagnosis that we got. But from the very beginning, I just took the attitude that you grow up your whole life, and people say God doesn’t give these kind of kids to people that can’t handle them.
“My husband and I just felt like if God chose us, then we feel privileged that we were picked.”
Although Strouse is confined to a wheelchair, he doesn’t let anything slow him down. Using a specially-made disc jockey table that a friend had built, Strouse is able to control his computer and turntables with a track-ball that he maneuvers with his chin and nose.
As a child, Strouse wanted to be a disc jockey, though it wasn’t the only career he considered.
“Dillon was trying to figure out all kinds of things to do to try and make a living,” his mother said. “He wanted to get apartment buildings. Then he wanted to start raising dogs, and I said, ‘No way!’”
Strouse even started up a small computer business right after high school.
Yet it was a DJ Expo in Atlantic City, New Jersey, that solidified his dreams. Strouse’s father drove him to the expo, and it was there the family decided disc jockey was the right path.
“I said ‘You know what? You give him whatever he needs to get started,’” Colleen said. “I was just tired of feeling like I was crushing his dreams. He came home with some equipment, and had some equipment sent here that he ordered.”
Being a disc jockey is not only a dream come true for Strouse, but also a profession that allows him to do something unique, breaking the disc jockey stereotype while remaining in the spotlight.
“I want to show people that if I can do it, anyone can,” he said. “If I’m famous, I’ll be able to encourage more (people) than the people that already know me. I always wanted to be someone of importance.”
Some of Strouse’s best memories thus far in his career come from a single event at Newville Elementary School, where he was hosting two separate events on the same day. During the day, Strouse was pulled every which way by fans inspired by his work.
“I finally had to step away for a couple minutes to give myself a moment to breathe,” Strouse said. “I turned around and saw from a distance my inflatable rides, and one of my other DJs spinning, and I caught myself in the moment of just my heart tingling and me smiling, thinking ‘Wow, I did this. I made this happen.’”
Strouse is much more than the average entrepreneur, however. In the future, Strouse said he hopes to start a foundation to help fund wheelchairs for those families whose insurance companies’ deny them.
“There are so many disabled people out there that deserve the same right that everyone else does, and that’s freedom,” Strouse said. “I know from personal experience if you don’t have an electric chair, you feel like a prisoner, because for many disabled people, power chairs are our legs.”
Strouse Entertainment provides not only a unique experience from Strouse himself, but they also can include photo booths, bounce houses and other party fixtures. To contact Strouse Entertainment for a social event, call 448-1770 or email [email protected].