Phi Deltas Show Support for Brother Undergoing Chemotherapy


Geology major Victor “Vic” Krivitski was enjoying his junior year at Colgate University, play­ing rugby with the men’s rugby club, participating in the Colgate Geological Society and working at Colgate radio station WRCU. An active member of Phi Delta Theta, he had served his fraternity as presi­dent of his new member class and had just completed a successful term as recruitment co-chairman. In De­cember 2010, Krivitski developed a cough and went to the student health center to have it checked out. Test results showed something far more serious and he immedi­ately returned home to New Jersey. He was eventually diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called a me­diastinal germ cell tumor. Doctors at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City prescribed a treatment regime of aggressive chemotherapy over the next three months, to be followed by chest surgery. Krivitski notified his fraternity brothers about his condition just before Christmas and the chapter immediately re­sponded. A steady stream of under­graduate and alumni visitors came to his hospital room.

One of those alumni visitors was William Baker ’70, who lives in New York City and serves as the Vice Chairman of the New York Zeta Fund of the Phi Delta Theta Foundation. Baker heard the news on Christmas Eve and went to Sloan-Kettering on Christmas day to visit with Krivitski and his family. During the course of that visit, he learned Krivitski parents were com­muting four hours each way, in and out of Manhattan, to be with him during his chemotherapy. So he offered the guest suite of his apart­ment to Krivitski, if future treat­ments were to be on an out-patient basis, and to his parents if Krivitski were to be an in-patient. Asked why he wanted to do this, Baker said “I couldn’t not do it.” Krivitski and his girlfriend junior Natalie Gaugh subsequently moved in with Baker for 15 days. Baker reports that Krivitski will be returning for ad­ditional chemo treatments over the coming weeks. He said his experi­ence living with Krivitski has been amazing and he that he continues to be impressed with his cooking skills and his positive attitude. Through­out this ordeal, he has remained incredibly positive and has kept his sense of humor.

While Krivitski is on a medi­cal leave of absence from Colgate for the Spring 2011 semester, his Phi Delta Theta brothers are stay­ing in close touch with him. In late January, the chapter decided to do something more to show their sup­port for Krivitski during his che­motherapy. The result was that 40 Phi Delta Theta brothers shaved their heads. Chapter president and junior Andrew Wylie explained “we wanted to show Krivitski that we were standing with him and fur­ther demonstrate that one man is no man.” The chapter is also in the process of planning a concert this spring to raise money for Krivitski’s family and a cancer charity. Anyone who would like to send a message of support can e-mail Krivitski directly at [email protected].