Members rally around son of Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Sigma Sigma alumni

Members rally around son of Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Sigma Sigma alumniPi Kappa Phi Fraternity and Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority are hosting a fundraiser to benefit the family of two of their members. The son of Tri Sigma alumna Rachael Tingle Smith (2005) and Pi Kapp alumnus Randy Smith (2004) was recently diagnosed with a relatively uncommon condition involving the irregular formation of the skull.

Less than a year old, little Jacob Smith has been diagnosed with craniosynostosis.  Rachael first spotted a ridge along Jacob’s forehead when he was about 3 months old. “We went off to Google. The results were scary and surgery is the only option, so we chose not to look into this any further until we knew something definite,” Rachael said.

In June, Jacob’s great-uncle, a plastic surgeon, recommended they visit a specialist in Dallas. Doctor Fearon diagnosed Jacob with metopic craniosynostosis with mild-to-moderate trigonocephaly in late August. This is an early growing-together, or fusion, of the bones along Jacob’s skull sutures. This fusion occurs in approximately 1 in 2,000 births and affects boys more than girls. Once the skull is fused, the brain continues to grow in the direction of least resistance. This limits the skull’s ability to grow normally. If untreated, the skull will eventually take on a very abnormal shape and worsen with time. For more information about this disgnosis, visit www.thecraniofacialcenter.org.

This condition is treatable. Jacob will undergo a cranial vault reconstruction with Dr. Fearon and a pediatric neurosurgeon on November 2nd. Randy and Rachael will stay in Medical City in the week surrounding the complex surgery.

On Wednesday, October 19th Tri Sigma and Pi Kapp are raising money to offset the costs involved with Jacob’s procedure and other expenses incurred during the trip. Chapter members will host a “Chunk Your Change” event from 8 a.m. to noon at the stop light in front of the Sylvan Friedman Student Union. That afternoon from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. members will hold a benefit car wash at the Pi Kappa Phi house, located at 730 University Parkway.

If you cannot attend one of the fundraisers but would like to make a gift to the Smith family, you may write a check payable to “Rachael Smith” and drop it off at Bank of Montgomery in Natchitoches on Washington Street.

“Our family is so grateful for all of the prayers, thoughts, and generosity of everyone through this stressful time,” said the Smiths. “We could not make it through the tough days without so many words of encouragement and cannot thank you enough for the generous donations in Jacob’s name!”

If you’d like to send your words and prayers of encouragement, e-mail Rachael at rachael.tingle@hotmail.com or Randy at pika650@aol.com . You can also print a full-size flyer to hang in your office or on campus to spread the word about Jacob’s story and craniosynostosis. Just click the image to the left or this link to download! Jacob, Rachael, and Randy are family.

These church-going, community-minded people have had a positive impact in the lives of so many in the Natchitoches and NSU community. Now it’s our turn to lift up members of our extended family during this important time. On behalf of the Smith’s many friends in Pi Kappa Phi and Sigma Sigma Sigma, thank you in advance for any gift, whether financial or through prayer.

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