Deb Murray started working with Phi Beta Chi as our Faculty Advisor in the fall of 2007. In March 2008, Deb announced to the sisterhood that she was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. Before her surgery in April, she was welcomed to a chapter meeting by the girls carrying pink balloons and wearing pink shirts that had been specially designed in her honor.
At that meeting, the athletic director announced that Phi Beta Chi would be hosting a powderpuff tournament in the fall, following Deb's chemotherapy and radiation treatment, and in support of breast cancer research. The original proceeds went to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and sponsored several sisters to participate in the 3-day walk.
Now, proceeds from the powderpuff tournament go to Get Real and Heel, a program that Deb used once her treatment was over. She was very weak and had little balance, and the mix of medicine and chemotherapy took a toll on her body. The program is 5 months of exercise 3 hours a week, and 1.5 hours a week of recreational therapy. It helped Deb regain strength both physically and emotionally, and the money from the tournament will allow other people to experience that same healing.
Deb is cancer-free now, and Phi Beta Chi continues to honor her hard work and recovery through Deb's Powderpuff Tournament.
"I am very blessed to have had Phi Beta Chi as such a great support system. The women have been a joy in my life that has reminded me why I'm doing what I'm doing. We are a sisterhood of believers that persevere and fight together, whatever that battle happens to be. I don't know what I would have done without Phi Beta Chi. There were many days when I was at a loss for strength - my body had nothing to give - and being with the sisters and seeing that energy helped me battle physical and emotional fatigue," Deb said.