After being told by doctors he has a year left to live, a father battling Stage IV stomach cancer is finding support from his son's fraternity.
George Washington University's Delta Tau Delta fraternity says it has raised over $24,000 for 59-year-old Tom Syron in just a few weeks, through an Indiegogo campaign, sales, and fundraising events on campus. The funds will help alleviate Syron's financial burden as medical bills pile up and he can no longer work.
Syron was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1988 and kidney cancer just eight years later, according to the GW Hatchet. After more than 15 years of remission, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer that has since spread to his liver.
"They used the words 'incurable,' but it is treatable," Syron says in a YouTube video.
His son Casey Syron, a junior at GW, told ABC 7 News he's grateful to have such a good network and fraternity.
“Right now I’m in a position where I can contact my network, contact my brotherhood, and really put strings together in order to establish a fund for my dad so he can continue his fight,” he said.
Each year, Greek fraternities and sororities at GW dedicate a week to philanthropic causes; this year Delta Tau Delta chose to rally behind their brother's father. As part of their efforts to raise money, the brothers organized a cornhole tournament on Sunday and teamed up with local businesses to donate money from sales, the Associated Press reports.
“The GW Greek community tends to rally most efficiently when one of its members is in need of help and support,” Erin Brainard, the Panhellenic Association’s communications chair, told The Hatchet.
“I’ve been in the chapter for a little over two years, and this is by the greatest sense of unity I’ve felt in the Greek community as a Delt,” added Charlie Temkin, the fraternity’s vice president.
The fraternity's Indiegogo campaign, which closes Sept. 30, will split donations between Syron's medical expenses and the Katie Moore Foundation, which funds research for rare cancer treatments.
Casey Syron told the Hatchet his father is a fun-loving man, and some of their fondest memories together involved doing silly voices at a McDonald's drive-thru.
“My dad is the silliest guy,” Casey told the paper. “He deserves nothing but the best to happen to him, and it’s really unfortunate that a situation like this has brought him down.”
This post has been updated with a total amount raised, provided by the fraternity's vice president Charlie Temkin. A previous version included only the funds raised through Indiegogo.