UPDATE: Marietta College Raises More Than $2,000 For Student With Cancer

By: Stanley Jefferson, Danielle Staub Email
By: Stanley Jefferson, Danielle Staub Email
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UPDATE 10/16/2013 3:00 PM

Coming together for a classmate in need.

Marietta College students, faculty and staff have been biking for a week straight for their friend who is suffering from cancer.

Marietta College President Joseph Bruno took to the wheels Wednesday morning and finished strong.

Cycle 4 Sami was put together by the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity on campus after fellow student Sami Hood was diagnosed with lymphoma.

Organizer Cameron Smith says people stepped right up to the plate - there was never a moment when no one was biking.

President Bruno took the reins and biked Wednesday morning from 7 to 8 to complete the week.

"They pulled together, they care about each other and they will do whatever it takes to make each other right, and I've been thinking about it all week, the ATO guys have really exemplified the spirit that makes me so proud to be part of this community," says President Bruno.

"She has responded very positively. She actually posted a video to our Facebook event page, thanking us all for doing this and thanking Marietta College as a whole, which is super cool," says Smith. "She seems to be doing very well, which is awesome. I'm glad we were able to provide her the support."

Smith says there were over 40 riders throughout the week and they beat their goal of raising $1,000, raising over $2,200 for Sami as a scholarship when she returns to school.
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Members of Alpha Tau Omega are not just cycling for fun, they're doing so to help a fellow student in need.

Meet Sami Hood. She's diagnosed with Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer that occurs when the white blood cells divide faster than normal cells or live longer than they're supposed to.

It's all part of the Cycle 4 Sami event put on by the fraternity's treasurer, Cameron Smith.

"She's been a roommate to my long term girlfriend, so I had a lot of contact with her, we've been friends for a long time, always hanging out, doing stuff, always see her around, saying hi on campus. She definitely means a lot to me and a lot of other people on campus, So I just wanted to show my support for her in that way," says Smith.

Smith and his fraternity brothers are putting on a 168 hour stationary bike marathon for Hood.

The chapter is raising money to provide a scholarship for her when she returns to campus in the spring.

A brilliant idea to make sure hood reaches her goal of getting a college degree.

"I think it's a wonderful way to benefit somebody who's fallen in an unfortunate situation in an important time in her life. You know, college is a time to make a career and get out on the big road and to have a major setback like that, to have a group of guys that wants to help out and do what they can to alleviate the situation in a smallest sense, I think it's great, I think it's wonderful," added Alpha Tau Omega President, Brandon Mattoli.

Smith and his fraternity are supporting Hood one pedal at a time.

Sami is a good friend of all of ours. She's known all around campus, she's a track runner, she would of done the same thing for any of us and she would put an event together like us for any of us and it's just the fact that we're spreading awareness," replied Alpha Tau Omega Member, Zach Haynes.

Students at Marietta College are grateful to have Smith and Alpha Tau Omega to help make a difference in a friend who's loved by everyone.

"It really means a lot to Sami, I know we've been texting and we're going to Skype later on but it really means a lot to me, being here seeing all the support," Hood's roommate, Shelby Preston said.

"I just want to tell Sami that we're behind you, we're supporting you, we're riding hard and we know that you got a long journey ahead of you, we just want you to know that we're behind you every step of the way," says Mattioli.

The stationary bikes were donated by the Marietta Family YMCA.

Members of Alpha Tau Omega will be on campus cycling and accepting donations until Wednesday.

So far, they've raised over $300.

For more information about the event and how to donate, visit the "Cycles for Sami " Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/events/582524385128843/ and the donation site, https://secure.touchnet.com/C23012_ustores/web/store_cat.jsp?CATID=7&STOREID=5.


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