CLINTON, S.C. — Students at an Upstate college are coming together to support a friend battling a rare form of cancer.
Haley Hughes, a senior at Presbyterian College, was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma back in November 2020.
“This girl is such a fighter,” said Anna Wicker, a close friend of Hughes’. “She’s just an outgoing individual who will do anything for anybody, even in a hospital bed right now.”
Wicker started an online effort to support the 22-year-old college senior, known as Hope for Haley.
Ever since, friends have been sending cards and helping raise money for Hughes and her family who had to move from Newberry County to Charleston since the diagnosis so Hughes could receive treatment at MUSC.
Sigma Nu, a fraternity on campus as Presbyterian College is now also stepping up to help. Leaders organizied a kickball tournament Friday and Saturday, which will benefit the Hughes family. The tournament raised more than $11,000.
Hughes left her mark in the organization, from freshman to seniors. She spent the past year as the fraternity’s sweetheart, which means she helps promote Sigma Nu and organize events.
“Once we were actually candidates for Sigma Nu, we were always helping her out and she was always just so nice and so sweet to us, even though she just met us,” said Dustin Tant, a freshman who joined Sigma Nu.
“We really wanted to give back to her because she’s gone through a hard time as well as her family,” said Brandon Stiff, a freshman member.
“Everybody behind one cause is nice to see,” said Kirellos Morkos, a junior.
Fraternal support is not just bound to Presbyterian’s campus, said Andrew Kyzer, philanthropy chair for Sigma Nu.
“(We’re) also reaching out to other sororities and fraternities,” he said. “We got people at Clemson working hard and then we got people at USC also working.”
Hughes sent a message from the hospital Sunday after undergoing chemotherapy.
“I have no words to describe how thankful I am,” she said. “I have a wonderful support system in Presbyterian College…classmates, professors, and the entire Clinton community as well as my hometown community of Newberry. The Sigma Nu fraternity brothers are some of the greatest individuals I know and I am blessed to be their sweetheart this year but a friend to them always,” she said.
“My ADPI sisters at PC and nationally continue to send encouragement and love to me. Hope for Haley has been such a blessing for me and my family during my cancer journey. It may sound strange, but the blessings I have received from so many wonderful people have far outweighed the tough times. Hope for Haley, for me, is bringing not only hope for me, but also awareness of Ewing’s Sarcoma which takes far too many children. I love you all!”
Wicker and members of Sigma Nu are encouraging even more support.
“She is just an amazing person as it is and it just shows how many people she’s touched throughout her life that she wouldn’t have always thought.”
The public is invited to help raise awareness and show support for Hughes. The fraternity will have an open donation line through CrowdChange and selling T-shirts in order to raise support for her chemo treatments.
If you’d like to donate to help the family, you can click here.