Brothers against ALS

Members of Phi Delta Theta assisting the Dorsey family (photo courtesy of Shea Dougherty).

“They showed up with such positive attitudes and it made my heart happy to see them having fun while working hard,” said Dawn Dorsey of the Brothers of Phi Delta Theta assisting her family. “They set up a speaker in the yard -’cause everyone needs music to work – and we just sat there and watched them get the job done and enjoyed the music. The day could not have been better for us!”

The Maryland Beta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta, located at McDaniel College, participated in one of our most important philanthropy events of the semester.

As a chapter of Phi Delta Theta, they support the fight against Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS. The fraternity raises thousands of dollars every year to fight the disease. ALS was chosen as the fraternity’s national philanthropic cause due to one of their own Brothers, Lou Gehrig, being diagnosed and later, unfortunately, losing his battle.

The chapter works closely with the Dorsey family, an ALS family located just outside of Damascus. Kevin, who has had an ongoing battle with ALS, has unfortunately been confined to a wheelchair on their substantial property. The brothers describe Kevin as a wonderful caring man, who has refused to quit in his fight. 

Kevin reflected on his time working with our chapter, “It’s hard to ask for help especially from people you don’t know but these young men showed up ready to work and made me feel so comfortable about everything I needed them to do. They worked their butts off. I worked 30 years in the construction trade and would hire all of them!”

For the past two semesters, several of our Brothers have stepped in and helped complete tasks around the property. Last semester, a group assisted in demolishing and rebuilding their fence line and helped with other various tasks around the yard. The Dorseys were more than welcoming of our group of guys. It was a heartwarming experience that really made a difference in the family’s life.

On Oct. 2, 2021, we continued this relationship, coming back in the fall to help around the yard, once again. Brothers of all ages came and assisted the Dorsey family. This time, we aided in edging and mulching, working tirelessly and trying to complete as much as possible in the six-hour time frame we were welcomed back.

It is always an amazing experience working with the Dorseys and they plan on returning sometime later this fall and again during the spring semester. We hope to continue this relationship well into the future, having the next generations of Phi Delta Theta brothers come out and help. Some of the Brothers who have helped recently shared their thoughts on working with the Dorsey’s.

“A great family that hasn’t let the disease stop them from what they love doing most,” said Andrew Leftcourt, a current Brother of the Maryland Beta Chapter.

Brother Matt Hays had this to say about working with the Dorsey family: “They’re very kind people who don’t allow anything to get them down and always see the bright side.”

This is the true meaning of becoming a Brother of Phi Delta Theta. Working closely with families impacted by ALS has made a significant difference in the lives of the family’s impact and the Brothers that work with them. We feel immense joy knowing what we are doing is making such a difference in their daily lives, even with the smallest gesture.

We urge everyone to continue to fight against ALS as we work towards a cure. One of the easiest, yet most effective, ways to help is through the LiveLikeLou Foundation. The foundation has aided countless families and researchers as we work to cure this terrible disease. Phi Delta Theta Maryland Beta Chapter is proud to be a part of such a great and noble cause.