Friday, October 11, 2013

"As I Write This, I am Sitting Through My Third Chemotherapy Treatment"

As I write this, I am sitting through my third chemotherapy treatment. I am 37 and was diagnosed in July with breast cancer. I found out about my cancer only a couple of weeks after being appointed as the ATC for Mu – Missouri. Among my many concerns when first diagnosed was whether or not I would be able to continue to serve this chapter and the Fraternity. I love these women with all my heart.

On the day of my surgery back in July, many of the Mu collegians changed their Facebook profile pictures to a logo they had designed in my honor. They posted an inspiring message on the chapter’s Facebook page and Twitter account. The logo was made into a T-shirt they all wore during Mock Recruitment. They continue to visit me at home often and attend events and lunch with my kids at their school. A group of sisters from my chapter of Initiation, Epsilon Nu-James Madison, sent me a large package of items I would need after surgery. One member of that group had also fought breast cancer and won. I also received many cards, messages, and Facebook posts from sisters all over the country.

The reason I want to share this with you is because of a response it generated. I received messages from those who changed their perception about the purpose of fraternities and sororities. The publicity in social media of what was being done to support me showed others what our values truly are. It showed friendship, sympathy, and assistance in the best light. Thank you, my dear sisters, for effecting change in the minds of those who didn’t understand what we stood for. They understand now.

Julie Ryan, Epsilon Nu-James Madison, is the Mu ATC.

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