As I finish off the semester, I have been thinking of ways to thank everyone around me for the graciousness they’ve shown me in the past year. This pertains particularly to my sorority sisters, who literally saved my dad’s life and forever changed mine.
One year ago, I started school at Florida State University. I did not know anyone here except for people who went to my high school. I wanted to make new friends and have a completed college experience by going through Spring Recruitment. I thought it would be nice to get some cool t-shirts, make some new friends, get a meal plan, and enjoy the typical perks included in going Greek even though it was an investment I was paying for myself.
I navigated through the tables and numbers of people and I found one sorority that stood out in particular. I had been to dinner at this house earlier in the week and enjoyed talking to all of the girls, so when I was invited to another event, I was beyond excited. I received a bid and was thrilled to begin a new chapter of my life with new friends. I made close friends in my pledge class and expanded my social circle by meeting some older sisters as well. As I ate meals at the house and went on sisterhood retreats, I realized that these women were absolutely amazing. I made the decision to sign a lease to move into the house for the fall.
During the time of starting FSU, working, and joining a sorority, my dad was sick. He was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis, meaning his lung function was deteriorating. Because of this, he’s unable to work. I told this information to some of my sisters but didn’t make it extremely public. I didn’t want sympathy or attention, I just wanted to stay as focused on school as I could while also taking care of my family. I had the support of a few close friends, and that was enough for me.
And then things started getting worse. My extended family was hit with two deaths in less than six months, all while my dad’s health continued to decline. I was a wreck, but being around my sisters at chapter meetings and sorority events allowed me to feel like a normal person when in reality everything was falling apart. If it were not for my sorority, and living in the house, I would not have been in school Fall 2015. The joy, hope, and support these women offered me was what allowed me to keep going and push through the hard times, even when it felt the hardest thing in the world. I knew I wasn’t alone, and I knew my sisters had my back. Things finally started to turn around when we learned that my was potentially eligible to get on a list for a lung transplant.
As the process of getting on the list for a lung transplant progressed, we learned that we needed to raise $3,500 before my dad could get on the list. My family did not have these resources available at hand, so my (biological) sister created a GoFundMe account one night to raise money. Before I woke up the next morning, my sorority sisters were sharing the page on Facebook and donating money.
In just one day, $800 had been raised. In four days, the goal of $3500 was reached. Sisters were constantly checking up on me, and sisters who I hadn’t yet spent much time with selflessly donated and shared the page and showed genuine concern for my family. Within a few weeks, my dad was on the transplant list. Two weeks after that, my dad got his lung transplant. Today, I sit with my dad and hear that he will be discharged from the hospital on Monday. He is walking, talking, and breathing with his new lungs. This is the first time in three years I have seen him without oxygen. My sorority did this.
Sisterhood saved my dad’s life. I would have never guessed joining a sorority would offer this to me, but it did. I will never know what I did to get so lucky to join a chapter with such selfless and amazing women, but I can’t thank everyone enough for changing my life in the most incredible way possible. .
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