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There's a lot of bad news surrounding fraternities lately, but there are also a few good ones out there.
Lexi Brown, age 12, had been taking chemotherapy pills to battle recurrent cancer in her lungs. One day, her mom noticed that her hair and eyebrows were turning white. When they went to the doctor, they discovered her heart was only functioning at 15 percent. Lexi was quickly airlifted to the Mattel's Children's Hospital UCLA to receive treatment, where she stayed for several weeks.
To kill some time during her hospital stay, Lexi and her mom made a sign to post in her room window asking for pizza. And wouldn't you know it, her room happened to overlook UCLA's fraternity row—the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house, in particular. One of Sig Ep's members happened to see the sign, and the brothers worked swiftly to honor Lexi's request. But they went beyond just an ordinary pizza delivery.
As Lexi's mom Lisa tells NBC News, "Five guys come in, and they had a guitar and dozen roses and a box of pizza. They introduced themselves and said, 'We saw your sign; we're here.' They stayed for a half an hour, they sang this song and I started bawling my head off. I'm like, 'I can't believe these people are here for my child.'"
And that was just the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
The fraternity's members learned that Lexi loved soccer, so they got the UCLA soccer team to visit. She also received a surprise visit from UCLA football quarterback Josh Rosen, as well as numerous other campus athletic teams and organizations. And Lexi began to look forward to these daily visits.
SAE chapter president Kevin Autran shares, "Brothers stepped up to go visit her essentially every day. Some just stopped by to give her a little gift like a shirt or a teddy bear, and some stayed for hours to hang out with her."
The hospital even bent the rules and allowed members to visit past visiting hours when they were playing especially rousing games of the card game Speed with Lexi.
But the biggest surprise came around the holidays. The fraternities have a long-standing tradition of going all out to decorate their houses every holiday season, and this year they decided to let Lexi know how much she had come to mean to them by spelling out her name in lights on their roof in her favorite color, purple along with a beating heart.
Image via Lisa Brown
Lexi is now home, but she is not forgotten. The SAE members will keep her name up throughout the holidays and have set up a fund to help Lexi with her medical costs.
"We truly feel like Lexi and her parents are part of our family, and we just want them to know that we will always be there for them," says Autran.
Just another reminder that there's still some good in this world.