Grand Council Announces $2.6 Million Commitment to St. Jude
At the 2016 Donald R. Tapia Triangle Summit in Indianapolis, Tau Kappa Epsilon’s Grand Council announced with representatives of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital a $2.6 million, six-year commitment to St. Jude to name the Proton Therapy Synchrotron/Particle Accelerator, a state of the art radiation therapy machine that targets tumors with high precision while sparing nearby healthy tissue and organs.
The Grand Council proudly announced the new commitment with more than 300 Tekes in attendance. The Fraternity will now be a partner in bringing the most cutting-edge treatment to some of the world’s sickest children.
Grand Prytanis Rod Talbot said during the announcement, "When deciding on the new commitment, we thought ‘What can we do to change lives for the families?’ We decided we needed to dream big and be on the cutting edge of technology and treatment. We are about to embark on the largest philanthropy project in the history of our Fraternity."
This new proton therapy offers a treatment that greatly benefits children with brain tumors and other cancers in sensitive areas, because it reduces harm to the developing body and lessens the risk of secondary tumors later in life.
St. Jude estimates that within five years 80 percent of the pediatric patients needing radiation will receive proton therapy. This proton therapy center is the first in the nation dedicated solely to children and designed specifically to meet the needs of young patients.
The powerhouse of proton therapy is the synchrotron, a massive particle acceleration system that generates the proton beam. Highly-skilled technicians program the synchrotron to deliver a beam at the exact energy levels needed for each specific patient. The proton beam then travels through the vacuum of the synchrotron at seven-tenths the speed of light, directly to the treatment room where it will be administered with exactitude to the patient.
The depth and intensity of the proton beam is guided by advanced control systems to conform to the shape of the tumor. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the features unique to the St. Jude proton therapy system in November 2015 and the center began seeing its first patients in December.
In recognition of Tau Kappa Epsilon’s crucial role in this state-of-the-art therapy center, a plaque will be placed near the synchrotron so that our staff and patient families will associate Frater Thomas’ beloved fraternity with the unparalleled care of St. Jude.
To aid chapters and colonies in their fundraising efforts, Grand Prytanis Rod Talbot announced a series of tools to be provided by the Fraternity's Professional Staff.
"To embark on such a large project, we know you can’t do it alone. Since Conclave, over $200,000 has been raised already toward this new commitment. With the help of St. Jude and ALSAC, we are releasing a St. Jude section on our ShopTKEHeritage.com online store and a brand new St. Jude resource center at tke.org/stjude with videos, flyers, a fundraising guide, and much more!"
Learn more about Tau Kappa Epsilon's new commitment at tke.org/stjude.
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