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Antonio (left), a seven-year-old boy with a stage three brain tumor, was adopted by Penn's Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter. An SAE alumnus arranged for him to meet Thaddeus Young (right) at a Philadelphia 76ers game.

Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Hannesian

This past year, Penn's Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter adopted Antonio, a 7-year-old boy with a stage three brain tumor.

Antonio, an unofficial member of SAE, visited his brothers throughout the year at their chapter house. SAE alumnus and 1986 Wharton graduate Joshua Harris even arranged for Antonio to attend a Philadelphia '76ers game with some of the brothers, where he met Thaddeus Young as well as other players.

In order to help children suffering from cancer, like Antonio, SAE is teaming up with the Interfraternity Council to provide move-in assistance free of charge between Aug. 21 and Aug. 24, requesting that those who use this service donate to the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. The foundation, founded by Joe McDonough in memory of his son Andrew, who died at 14 of cancer, provides assistance to families with children suffering from cancer and funds child cancer research.

When McDonough spoke to the fraternity about two years ago, he told a story that was "compelling, heart-wrenching and overall hopeful," SAE President and College senior Matthew Hanessian remembered. 

"He wasn't asking us to be sorry for him in the slightest — rather he genuinely wanted to do everything in his power to be sure that no other family had to go through what he and his family went through," Hannesian said in an email. "His story resonated with us, and we wanted to do everything that we could to help his cause.”

SAE Philanthropy Chair Vincent Criscuolo, a Wharton sophomore, said in an email, “We really value the work they do and want to help them in their mission.”

Last year, SAE hosted a move-in event and raised $2,500 to donate to the B+ foundation. Now that SAE is partnering with the IFC and the move-in event has become a larger effort, Hanessian and Criscuolo hope they generate even more donations for the organization this year.

“We want this to become an event that the entire Penn community can participate in," Criscuolo said. "We think the best way to do this is to reach out to other fraternities and ask them to help out with this awesome event.”

Anyone interested in signing up for help with move-in can fill out this google doc.

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