In November 2012, Billy Biviano was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, pilomyxoid astrocytoma (PMA) at the age of 14 months. Since then, he began chemotherapy on and off due to his young age. By 2016, the Bivianos have visited medical centers at New York University, Johns Hopkins University, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and National Institutes of Health to find the right chemotherapy regiment for Billy. Just this past September Billy completed 48 weeks of chemo and will now take some time to recover before proceeding with future treatment. The chapter admires Billy's courage and bravery and enjoys helping him and his family throughout their journey.
Each year, the chapter attends Steps-Together, a walk that supports families that are facing medical crises as well as fundraising events like Applebee's breakfasts and pig roasts for Steps-Together and Team Billy. The chapter also attends RU4Kids events like a Thanksgiving Feast and Holiday Dinner in the wintertime. In a more casual setting, some brothers also babysit Billy and his siblings Joey and Michael.
To share their involvement with Billy on campus, the chapter hosted a recruiting event where attendees made cards for Billy as he was going through chemotherapy. Positive feedback was received by many.
Rutgers members pose with the Biviano family.
"When I started visiting Billy at the hospital, it gave me a new perspective on the real meaning of strength, seeing how hard it was for Kristy (Billy's mom) to make silly faces to cheer Billy up when I knew all she wanted to do was break down in tears," said former VPCS Megan Mahmoud. "I saw how much love they have for one another and how they used that to keep each other moving forward each day, one step at a time. Billy humbled me; he helped me learn to appreciate the little things. And for that, I will forever be grateful for having met Billy and his family. My experience with them has been so impactful that I really wanted others to be able to share that experience as well, and adopting Billy from RU4Kids allowed others in Delta Sigma Pi to continue to share that experience."
If you are interested in learning more or supporting Billy's journey, please visit http://www.steps-together.org/billy/
or follow his story on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bravebillysjrny/?fref=ts
If your chapter has participated in an inspiring service event, please email a summary and high-res photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.