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NMSU Sigma Chi raises $20,000 for cancer research while supporting brother

Carlos Herrera
Kyle Richardson representing Sigma Chi proudly in the midst of their Philanthropy supporting the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. April 28th, 2023

Sororities and fraternities are mainly known for the social aspect of their organizations, with date parties, sisterhoods, and other social events.  But these Greek life organizations are also known for their vast dedication to an international or local philanthropy which they work to support through volunteering and/or fundraising.

One such fraternity, Sigma Chi, supports the Huntsman Cancer Foundation (HCF), which is dedicated to raising money for cancer research.  An article by the University of Utah said, “Philanthropy has always been an integral part of Sigma Chi, with the undergraduates taking up the rallying cry of becoming ‘The Generation to End Cancer.’”

At New Mexico State University, that phrase and philanthropy have taken on a whole new meaning for the brothers of Sigma Chi.  Not only do they desire to be the generation to end cancer for all, but they also want to conquer cancer for their brother Kyle Richardson.

Richardson is a recent pledge to Sigma Chi and was initially drawn to the fraternity for their support of the HCF.  However, after getting to know the brothers within the chapter, he felt a connection like no other.

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“I was initially drawn to Sigma Chi because of their philanthropy. After all that I had gone through it really excited me that I could be a part of an organization that raised money for cancer research,” Richardson said. “However, after meeting some of the brothers at the Greek picnic the week before rush I immediately fell in love with Sig. I knew that I had found my home away from home,” he added.

Richardson was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma when he was 16-years-old and ended up going into remission after approximately 18 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

“My body reacted very well to chemotherapy, and within six weeks the tumor in my chest had already shrunk by 90%, which is more than the doctors expected it to shrink after I had completed treatment. Since my body reacted so well to chemotherapy, I only had to do three weeks of radiation and after that, I was officially in remission,” Richardson said.

However, three years later, Richardson discovered that he relapsed on March 22, after finding a swollen lymph node in his neck.

“Finding out that I had relapsed and needed to start treatment immediately has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to deal with. Las Cruces had finally felt more like home to me than my actual hometown, and suddenly, all of that was being ripped away from me,” Richardson said.

He expressed that though this time has been difficult for him, it has meant the world to him to  have the support of Sigma Chi through philanthropy and brotherhood.

“Having people that check in on me every single day just to make sure that I’m doing okay…is a tremendous help. Also watching my brothers work so hard with our philanthropy brings me joy. It feels very special knowing that they are working hard to raise money that will go to help people like me,” Richardson said.

Jaden Moore, a member of Sigma Chi, noted that it has been very hard to have to go through this past semester without Richardson’s presence.

“Kyle’s the kindest soul I’ve ever met.  He’s always there for me and anyone else that ever needs him.  [With] him being gone…[Sigma Chi] just feels empty, [especially] in chapter meetings,” Moore said.

Richardson mentioned that Sigma Chi has provided some hope for him as he works to overcome cancer.  Not only is he fighting for himself, but he is also fighting to “hopefully return in the fall, as long as treatments go well,”

“Having hope for the future and something to look forward to is important to anyone going through hardship…When I first told the brothers that I had relapsed, all they cared about was making sure that I was okay and helping with anything they could to make my life easier during this season,” Richardson said.

Richardson reflected on his hardship throughout the past three years and provided some advice for anyone who may be going through their own challenging time.

“Something I’d like to say to anyone going through difficult times is to find a group that supports you no matter what is going on in your life. Whether that group is a religious organization, Greek life, or something off campus, find somewhere you fit in and let those people be there for you,” Richardson said.

NMSU Sigma Chi’s dedication to their philanthropy and brother Kyle Richardson has shone this past semester as they have reached their goal of raising $20,000 for the HCF.

This story was originally published on NMSU Round Up on May 3, 2023.