Our sisterhood is a strong one. We support one another during difficult times by offering a helping hand, shoulder to lean on, or a kind word. The Alpha Delta Pi Foundation also provides support to alumnae sisters in need through our emergency grant program, the Clasped Hands Fund. This program is funded through contributions from chapter members, alumnae associations, and individuals through our “Violets for My Sister” campaign each summer.
Whether medical issue, natural disaster, divorce, or other major life crisis, this fund has helped more than a hundred sisters, and many of their stories have a happy ending. Mikaela Ubry Knapp, Psi Chapter – University of California Berkeley, was one sister who boldly asked for help in April 2014.
Mikaela came home to Alpha Delta Pi in 2009. She jumped right in, moving into the house as soon as she could, and even serving as Membership Education Vice President. One of her close friends and fellow Psi Chapter sister say she had an “outgoing personality, infectious laugh, and ability to give great straight-forward advice”.
In October 2013 Mikaela was diagnosed with a rare type of kidney cancer. After months of grueling treatment, all FDA-approved treatment options had been exhausted. Mikaela and her husband, Keith, found out about a breakthrough treatment in clinical trials, but were rejected many times for various health reasons. The couple decided to petition multiple pharmaceutical companies for compassionate use of the treatment, and through social media, were able to collect more than 400,000 signatures.
Mikaela and Keith were unable to work and medical debt continued to pile up. One of the women Mikaela welcomed into the chapter remembered hearing about the Clasped Hands Fund and encouraged Mikaela to apply for the grant. A sister who wrote a letter on Mikaela’s behalf said:
I am daily amazed by Mikaela’s strength, poise, and graciousness while she fights for her life. Please grant them [Mikaela and Keith] the emergency grant to help them through this difficult and expensive time. If ever the words “We Live for Each Other” have been tested, this is it.
Shortly after her request was approved, Mikaela passed away. Her husband told us “that money helped a great deal” with medical debt and final expenses.
The Foundation receives more emergency grant requests each year, and we need your continued support. If you have not had the chance to make your gift through the Violets for My Sister campaign, we have extended the deadline through midnight on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.
Please consider making a gift to the Clasped Hands Fund and helping sisters in need, like Mikaela, by visiting https://www.violetsformysisters.org/.