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Alumni Appreciation Week: Phillip Berry

Alumni Appreciation Week: Phillip Berry

Phillip Berry

 “As a Delta Chi, it is our fundamental principle to help others, not only in a time of need, but on a daily basis.  Teaching this to our Associate Members on day one is key to being a successful Delta Chi member.” 

Chapter:
Louisiana Tech ’01

Occupation:
Chemist

 

  • What do you enjoy most about your role?  I am doing what I dreamed of all of my life.
  • How do you stay connected to Delta Chi?  I return to my chapter when I can to keep in touch with new and old Brothers.  I stay in contact through social media and by reaching out to Brothers that are more involved than I currently am.  Through this eternal bond, I stay up-to-date on the current of affairs of Delta Chi.
  • Tell us about how your experiences as a Delta Chi influences your work:  As a past “A” for my chapter, I learned leadership skills that have proven to be invaluable.  I am more successful at leading teams at work and can deal with conflicts in a better way.
  • What advice would you offer to undergraduate members? Slow down and cherish the moments you have with your Brothers.  Your time as an undergraduate will be some of the most memorable times.
  • What made you want to pursue your chosen career?  The science behind how things are made has always fascinated me.  When I got my first chemistry set when I was child I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
  • Tell us about the decision to donate your kidney to someone in need:  This is a long story, but I will try to keep it short.  Gorden Reger and I have been really close since the day he joined Delta Chi.  I was always amazed by the man he had grown up to be.  I knew he was going to be a great father when that time came.  When his first son (Frank) was born he had told me about the issue Frank was having with his kidneys.  Gorden and his wife were down in New Orleans at Tulane all the time, taking Frank to the doctor.  When I got married in 2004, Frank was in some of my wedding photos.  When Frank turned five, his kidneys finally stopped working totally. We had a chapter event that I came back in town for, and at this event Gorden got up in front of everyone and said that Frank needed a kidney and that if anyone wanted to check to see if they were match to let him know.  It was a simple blood test to see if one was a match for Frank.  I immediately reached out to Gorden and got who I needed to talk to to get tested.  When I found out that I was a match, I needed to decide if I wanted to continue the testing process to confirm if I would be the best person for the donation.  This was a no-brainer for me.  Frank was five years old and had his entire life ahead of him.  I decided to continue the testing and made some trips to New Orleans and Tulane.  The transplant team at Tulane decided that I was the best candidate for Frank.  During all the testing, I found out that my wife was pregnant with our first child.  I had already made the decision in my mind and now it was questioned.  I was going to do an elective major surgery and might get to meet my first child.  After long talks with my wife, I decided to do the transplant.  This ended up being one of the most painful and magical moments of my life.  To see a five-year-old child go from a “sick” to “healthy” child in 12 hours was amazing.  When we say a brotherhood of a lifetime, I really understood that now.  If me and Gorden would not have been in Delta Chi, things could have been much different.    
  • When did the surgery take place? May of 2008
  • What role do you think service to others plays for an alumnus?  When I read the basic expectations of a Delta Chi, I saw service to others.  As a Delta Chi, it is our fundamental principle to help others, not only in a time of need, but on a daily basis.  Teaching this to our Associate Members on day one is key to being a successful Delta Chi member.  

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