The brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon at Barton College chose to shine a very personal light on breast cancer awareness during the month of October.

Instead of raising dollars to send to a cancer research foundation this year, the brothers reached out to connect with a breast cancer patient in the Wilson community, Kiayuana Evans.

On Evans’ online crowdfunding page, she wrote that she felt like her life was over when she found out that she had breast cancer in August. She said she was mad, hurt, scared and confused. Then, Evans said reality set in, and she knew she had to beat the disease.

She began to do research and read testimonials of other breast cancer patients. She said she knew she wasn’t alone. Her faith sustains her, and her family and friends are by her side. What Evans didn’t expect was a fraternity to reach out to offer its support as well.

When Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brother and vice president of fraternity programming Lance Hillis learned about Evans’ story, he contacted Evans to let her know the fraternity wanted to try to help her raise the money she needed to assist with medical bills and chemotherapy treatments. This 27-year-old mother of a 2-year-old currently has target of $3,000, and the brothers made it their goal to pitch in.

“We really want to make a difference for Ms. Evans, and this fundraiser is a way to do that,” said Hillis, a senior political science major at Barton College who spearheaded the fundraiser. “We believe this community-based focus is an effective way of supporting breast cancer awareness because our fundraising effort directly impacts an individual in Barton’s hometown community of Wilson.”

The fraternity brothers chose several methods to collect funds for this effort, including getting permission to “Storm the Dorms” one evening, when they went door to door inviting fellow classmates to donate. They also reached out to faculty and staff, as brothers teamed up to visit administration and classroom buildings to encourage additional giving. Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers also made individual contibutions.

The fraternity invited Evans to meet its members on the Barton College campus last week and presented her with an $800 check.