Students help with alumna's medical expensesPosted February 25, 2010
Abilene Christian University's Sing Song, one of the most beloved traditions on campus, took on a new dimension this year. Working with two corporate sponsors of the show, Documation and Chase Productions, the event’s four co-chairs decided to award $1,000 to the winning group in each category (men, women and mixed voices) to donate to the charity of their choice.
"We thought it would add some more meaning to the event beyond just a spirit of competition," said Mauri Westbrook, director of student organizations and financial director of Sing Song. Audience members were given the chance to contribute to the effort during intermission of the Friday and Saturday shows.
A couple of weeks before Sing Song, women's social club Ko Jo Kai heard about an alumna who was in serious medical trouble. Jenny Bizaillion was in the ICU at Baylor Medical Center, fighting for her life. What began as a misdiagnosed case of Strep A turned into pneumonia and then septic shock. Jenny had several surgeries and amputations, but the situation was grave.
The women of Ko Jo Kai decided that if they won Sing Song, they would donate their money to Jenny's medical expenses. As Jenny's condition worsened, the news of her situation spread quickly around Scruggs Gym in the Gibson Health and P.E. Center, where Sing Song groups wait, practice and hang out between performances.
By the time the winners (Sigma Theta Chi, Gamma Sigma Phi and the freshman class) were determined on Saturday night, all three groups had decided to give their money to Jenny.
"It reminds you that even in the midst of the spirit of competition, we're a community that surrounds each other and lifts each other up," said Westbrook.
Jenny died Monday, Feb. 23, at 3:38 p.m. She is survived by her parents, Rick and Beverly Ross; two brothers, Josh and Jonathan Ross; her husband, David Bizaillion; and a daughter, Malaya. Her memorial service was held Thursday, Feb. 25, at 1 p.m.
Donations also can be made to Jenny's family through the Gregg Pearson Foundation, a charitable organization founded in honor of Gregg Pearson, an ACU alumnus who died in 2003 after struggling for more than a decade with a brain tumor.
Prayers are needed for the Ross and Bizaillion families as they grieve the loss of Jenny.
Original article by Katie Noah Gibson can be read here.