DTD to support leukemia patients in charity walk
Published: Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 01:10
The brothers of Tufts’ Delta Tau Delta (DTD) fraternity will participate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) annual Light The Night Walk tomorrow at the Boston Common.
Brothers will hold red balloons as they walk together for a second year in support of chapter president Matt Roy who is in the midst of Leukemia treatment, according to DTD philanthropy co-chair Montane Silverman.
“We’re [participating] to show our support for him and for the cause in general,” Silverman, a sophomore, said. “These guys have a cancer that’s not really common in young people and we want to help and support this organization that is dedicated to funding cures to help people.”
Proceeds from the Light The Night Walk help provide financial assistance for patient treatments, support government advocacy and fund research towards curing lymphoma and leukemia, according to the LLS website.
“A lot of people have a really distorted idea of what it means to be in a fraternity, and this is a really good example of what a brotherhood really is,” Roy, a junior, said. “It’s about having 70 people that have your back. I happen to be battling leukemia and they all support me.”
Roy explained that his brothers’ support throughout his diagnosis is typical of the brotherhood.
“When I was first diagnosed I was in the middle of pledging and it was difficult,” Roy, a junior, said. “They’ve never made me feel like I’m different.”
The event’s name derives from the illuminated balloons participants hold as they walk laps around the commons, Roy said. The balloons are symbolic to the walkers’ relationship with the cause — white balloons symbolize survivors and current patients, gold symbolize lost family or friends to cancer and red symbolize supporters.
Silverman explained that DTD brothers have joined other local colleges in the “College Challenge,” a fundraising competition between student organizations at local universities and schools. He added that other DTD chapters around the nation have extended their support through donations in order to aid the Tufts chapter.
Having raised over $5,000 since starting its fundraising efforts in September, including the $2,000 it raised during the last two days alone, Tufts’ DTD team is currently ranked 10th on the overall top fundraisers list, Silverman said. Community members interested in donating to the team can do so on the Delta Tau Delta team page on the Light The Night website.
In addition to the support the event gains from the Tufts community, Roy explained that the Light The Night Walk represents support from other local patients.
“People who fight or are survivors are given one [balloon] color, and it’s truly a chilling experience to see all the balloons because you realize all the people who have been through similar experiences, and you also realize all the support you have at the same time,” Roy said.
The brothers welcome students to join them in the walk tomorrow either as registered team members or as non-affiliated walkers. The event begins at 5 p.m.