Organized by: The Sigma Chi Iota Epsilon Chapter
At the age of 17, on February 27th of 2012 I was diagnosed with Stage 3a Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The regions that were affected were my lymph nodes under my left armpit, chest, neck, liver and spleen. I did 4-21 day cycles of the Chemotherapy regimen ABVD and 7 weeks of radiation. Although the treatments were very hard on my body, I powered through with never missing an appointment and stayed right on my schedule. It was a 5-month process concluding on July 27th 2012. I had my doctors condense my chemo regimen into the 84 days so I could graduate high school on time and come to the college I so desired to attend, the College of Charleston. After my sophomore year at the College, I was 2 years out of treatment in remission and cancer free. A chest X-RAY on July 16th showed 4 nodules on my right lung. A cat scan on July 18th confirmed they were present and they were not shadows as we had hoped for. A biopsy took 2 of the 4 nodules out on August 1st and confirmed they were cancerous. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Diffused Large B- Lymphoma, a different type of cancer than I was originally treated for at the age of 17. On August 13th a pet scan confirmed the tumors were growing. After a 6-week process of second and third opinions at Sloan Kettering in New York City and New York Presbyterian-Cornell, I started the chemotherapy regimen of E-POCH-R at the Goryeb Children's Hospital in Morristown, New Jersey, on The Valerie Fund pediatric cancer floor. The regimen is less toxic than the standard treatment for Non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma of R-CHOP. I needed the less toxic regimen due to the fact that I have had all of these drugs before throughout my first diagnosis and treatment plan. Each round of chemotherapy, I am hospitalized for 6 days and the chemo is slowly dripped through my broviac in-line for 96 hours straight. The concern is I will be 20 years old with the heart of a 40-50 year old due to all of the medications I have to take. I completed the first cycle and responded much better to the chemo. During my first round with chemotherapy at 17 years old, I lost 16 pounds in 8 days but this time I only lost 7 pounds. Cycle 2 started last Monday October 20th. I was not looking forward to being in the hospital but it is apart of the cancer grind. Day by day I fight for my future health and will overcome this obstacle. I cannot thank you all enough for the love, support, and prayers you have sent me. Please do not be scared to reach out as the backing I have accumulated makes this situation a lot easier and makes my positive attitude continue on."
As one can imagine, medical bills can accumulate very quickly when dealing with such a quick moving disease like cancer. The brothers from the Iota Epsilon Chapter of The Sigma Chi Fraternity are having a week long fundraiser (October 26th-November 1st) to help Zippy’s family pay for all of the medical expenses. All of the extra money that is not allocated to his medical bills will be donated under TEAM ZIPPYSTRONG for 2015 Valerie Fund Walk and 5K RUN. This is the 10th annual walk and the goal for our team is to raise the most money for the 2nd time in 3 years.The Valerie Fund's mission is to provide support for the comprehensive health care of children with cancer and blood disorders.The Valerie Fund is a not-for-profit organization established in 1976 in memory of nine-year-old Valerie Goldstein by her parents, Ed and Sue. Families turn to The Valerie Fund because of the unique combination of medical care, counseling, and other services it provides.The Valerie Fund Children's Centers comprise the largest network of healthcare facilities for children with cancer and blood disorders in New Jersey, and one of the largest in the nation. They host over 25,000 patient visits each year.
We are also asking that people outside of Charleston please donate online to help support this cause. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated. God Bless everyone and thank you to all for helping out Zippy and his family.
ZIPPYSTRONG #ALLIN "Don't Give Up, Don't Ever Give Up"