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Home / Health / The Brotherhood grants $ 20 million to the Huntsman Cancer Institute for research and treatment

The Brotherhood grants $ 20 million to the Huntsman Cancer Institute for research and treatment



Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

Susan Sheehan, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, embraces Tommy Geddings, the consul of the Sigma Chi International Fraternity, after he passed the Sigma Chi International Fraternity has pledged $ 20 million for women's cancer research, treatment and recovery at the Huntsman Cancer Institute during a Salt Lake City ceremony on Friday, June 28, 201

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SALT LAKE CITY – As a fourth-grade kidney cancer girl, Olivia Dubell recalls the fear of approaching the large, emerging buildings of the Huntsman Cancer Institute for chemotherapy and radiation.

"But the first thing I saw when I came in every time I saw that friendly nurse's face," recalls Dubell, now a junior at the University of Utah. "They made themselves so comfortable and I just felt so loved up here."

It was the kind of care she got from Huntsman that inspired her, in part, to pursue a nursing career – and it was part of the reason. More than a decade later, she started donating to the Foundation to collect.

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

A woman wears a rose. The Sigma Chi International Fraternity promises $ 20 million for women's research, treatment and well-being at the Huntsman Cancer Institute during a ceremony in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 28, 2019.

More than 600 members of the Sigma Chi Brotherhood gathered on Friday night at the Huntsman Cancer Institute on the University of Utah campus to announce a pledge of $ 20 million. The funds will go towards cancer research and treatment for women at the Institute and the new Kathryn F. Kirk Center for Comprehensive Cancer Treatment and Women's Cancer.

Dubell and her sister in the Chi Omega Sisterhood, Brook VanBrocklin, were also present. Dubell and VanBrocklin, whose parents are researchers at the institute, had been involved in the fundraiser, which earned the University of Utah Sigma Chi one of three chapters worth more than $ 100,000 for the Huntsman Foundation.

"Everyone knows someone with cancer affects everyone," VanBrocklin said. "Going through chemo is not fun, and if we can find a way to improve it, it's great."

Sigma Chi has been collecting money for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation since 2005, but "has really welcomed the Foundation as a philanthropic partner" since 2013, according to Jacqueline Brakey, Director of Integrated Communications at the Institute. In the last five years, the 240 Sigma Chi chapters in North America have raised $ 10 million for the Foundation.

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

Several hundred are gathering while the Sigma Chi International Fraternity is pledging $ 20 million for women's cancer research, treatment and wellness at the Huntsman Cancer Institute during a Salt Lake City ceremony on Friday, June 28, 2019.

It is expected that the Brotherhood will meet its $ 20 million commitment within five to seven years, Brakey said, if it persists pursue its fundraising rate. Sigma Chi raised more than $ 2.3 million for the Huntsman Cancer Institute in the 2018/19 school year alone.

"I have great hope for the future of cancer patients and feel very inspired that these sigma chi-teens are so committed and involved in something with such an important purpose," said Mary Beckerle, executive director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute. "It will make a big, big difference in both research and women's center."

The University of Utah chapter was one of three chapters honored on Friday by the Oregon State University and Georgia Southern University for raising at least $ 100,000 for the Institute.

"It's an elephant," said Harry Martin, a member of the University of Utah's Sigma Chi Chapter and intern at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and raised the donation of $ 100,000. "You take it a bite after another."

The fundraiser for the Utah chapter included Derby Days, an annual tradition hosted by Sigma Chi, in which teams of Brotherhood members and sisterhood sisters compete against each other in a weeklong game.

Countless little things that all sum up, "Martin said." Everyone comes together. "

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

David Huntsman enters the podium after Tommy Geddings, Grand Consul of Sigma Chi International Fraternity, has announced that the Sigma Chi International Fraternity will provide $ 20 million for women's cancer research, treatment and wellness at the Huntsman Cancer Institute during a ceremony in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 28, 2019.

Joe Banks, Member Oregon State University chapter said his chapter's fundraising activities included their own Valentine's Day Derby Days and Candygrams, as well as a donation of more than $ 60,000 from a sigma chi alumni.

One of the brothers The Oregon State Chapter lost both his mother and grandmother due to cancer this year, Banks said in the same week, Banks said his own Gr Mother had also died from cancer.

"That means a lot to me," Banks said.

Andrew Luna, member of the California State Polytechnic University chapter, Pomona, describes himself as one of the few lucky people who has never lost an immediate family member to cancer. But he remembers how his best friend from childhood lost his mother to cancer at the age of 12.

"When he went through him at a young age and just tried to be there for him, my heart really hurt him." Said Luna. "All I knew was that I could not do anything for him except just be there for him, I think it's just my gratitude when I try to give something back that I never had to deal with." 19659005] Eleven chapters, including Cal Poly Pomona, have been awarded at least $ 50,000 in procurement. Thirty-seven others, including Southern Utah University and Utah State University, raised at least $ 20,000.


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The Brotherhood has taken on the goal of co-founder of Sigma Chi, Jon Huntsman, the Huntsman Cancer Foundation: to eradicate the disease. Banners outside the Friday event declared the Sigma Chi brothers members of the "generation that ends the cancer".

"For me it's just unbelievable when these college men can collect these kind of donations," said Tommy Geddings, Grand Consul of Sigma Chi. "It makes me so proud that Sigma Chi is determined to realize Jon Huntsman's vision."


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