Sisterhood Stories: Walking Through Cancer Together

January 11th, 2023
Filed Under: Collegiate News | Guest Post | Sisterhood

Since AnnaKate Gibson, Delta – University of Texas at Austin, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, her chapter sisters have stood by her side every step of the way. From a wig party to a “Light the Night” walk in her honor, this sisterhood represents what it means to be an Alpha Delta Pi, supporting and loving a sister when she needs it most. Hear from AnnaKate about her journey below.



“I ran home to the Zeta Alpha chapter of Alpha Delta Pi my freshman year. Junior year I ran home again to the Delta chapter. I was welcomed to the Delta chapter with open arms and was given the opportunity to lead our chapter as Vice President of Membership Development. I couldn’t imagine a better job than helping my sisters through difficult times in their lives. I was proud to serve as a shoulder to cry on, a cheerleader, and a Sonic run buddy. Little did I know how much I would need this in my own life in the upcoming months.


After a week of recruitment, on August 26th, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Everyone always says that your world stops when you hear this type of news. Not me, I knew exactly who to call…my sorority sister Lauren from Zeta Alpha. Lauren had also been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Lauren and I shared everything: a love for Disneyland trips, country music, sorority, and now cancer. Lauren let me know everything I should expect in the next few months. I then went on to tell the Delta chapter. Sisters flooded my phone with encouragement and flocked to my hospital room. Some nights, you would have thought we called an informal chapter meeting in my hospital room with all the sisters there.


Then, the real battle began. Chemotherapy started, and it was one of the most overwhelming things I have ever gone through. I was nervous as my hair began falling out, but it didn’t stop my sisters for a second. Tatiana planned an entire wig party to help fill this scary time with love, support, and fun. My sisters held my hands as my hair was shaved, cheering me on with words of encouragement. Afterward, we all came together for lunch and filled the restaurant with wigs all the colors of the rainbow. On a day that was supposed to be sad and upsetting, all I could feel was love and support from my sisters. Like always, they made a bad day a good one.


Chemo went on, and as I began to feel worse, my sisters only supported me more. To my surprise, they all signed up for “Light The Night,” a Lymphoma and Leukemia Society walk, led by my little, Olivia, and our Director of Philanthropy, Katherine. The chapter made teams and raised $10,000! A day after chemotherapy, my parents did all they could to help me through the side effects of chemo. “Trust us. You’ll love where we’re taking you tonight. Your sisters will be there,” they said. So I worked through the nausea and fatigue and got in the car. As we walked up to the event, Olivia, Katherine, and 60 other sisters were there to greet me. They all looked so cute in their light-up leis, waving their lanterns. While at the event I met a Delta alumna who had also gone through a cancer diagnosis, and we got to walk together. It was truly a life-changing event. I felt so loved and so cared for.

Cancer has been scary and heartbreaking, but never have I felt alone or unsupported. The Delta chapter has walked with me through my whole journey, and they made it such a wonderful journey.


I can think of no better example of sisterhood than this chapter, they are the embodiment of our motto ‘We Live for Each Other.'”


AnnaKate has also shared her engagement with the Ronald McDonald House in Houston, saying on @texasadpi‘s Instagram “After years of helping RMHC through @alphadeltapi, I became the one to be helped. While it was just something small as getting a treat after chemo, I knew where it came from. On my way out, I was thanked for helping these past few years with ADPi, and it truly warmed my heart. While I never pictured that I would be in this place, it made ADPi so much closer to my heart. My sister @thee_emmyg and I have always been For The Kids! Whether it be Titanthon, Camp Titan, RMHC, and Texasthon, all of these help the kids get through a rough day. So, to all my amazing sisters out there, know that when you donate and cook for RMHC you make someone’s day better and today it was mine.”


Check out this segment from “Light the Night” in Austin HERE


Alpha Delta Pi wishes you all the best in this journey, AnnaKate, and you are in our thoughts and prayers!