DeAsia Romes, a senior psychology major and a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma at University of Central Arkansas, has cerebral palsy. But she hasn’t let that hold her back– she played co-ed whiffle ball for intramurals, and she’s one of the most popular people on campus. The wheelchair she uses means that there are some things, like climbing a mountain, that are a bit out of her reach. Enter the guys from Phi Gamma Delta.
Inspired by other stories of frat brothers carrying members up mountains, the sisters of Tri-Sigma asked senior Benjy Richards if his chapter might be interested in helping Romes reach the top of Pinnacle Mountain, near the university. Since his brothers had also brought it up, Richards knew they would be up for the challenge.
On August 21st, Romes, along with her Tri Sigma sisters Meghan Tinkham and Deja James, headed up the mountain with Phi Gamma Delta brothers Richards, Cesar Ramirez, Steven Bowen, Landon Beard, Hayden Murry and Corey Pillow. Each brother gave her a piggyback for a length of time, with one person on each side as a spotter. According to Ramirez, it was hard work, but worth it. He told Arkansas Online, “We’re all drenched in sweat and tired, but just looking at her gave you an excitement. It was like an awe-inspiring moment to see her, how happy she was and how excited she was just to be up there. It was a life lesson, too — to appreciate what you have, to appreciate life in general and to help others in need.”
Richards agreed, saying, “It was pretty cool; I’m not going to lie. You definitely get those warm fuzzies once you get to the top. I’ve been up the mountain a number of times. I’ve been up with my dogs, I’ve been up with my guys, but going up and taking someone who normally would never have been able to be up there — it’s work; it’s not necessarily easy — but it was a pretty great experience.”
As for Romes, she’s grateful to her sisters and the guys for making it happen. “It was awesome. It helped me experience something I would not have gotten to otherwise.” And, she says, they aren’t quite done yet: “I guess Benjy and the guys — they seemed pretty adamant — because I graduate in May, they’re taking me to a different place each month till I graduate,” she said.
“We got her back down and said, ‘OK, where are we taking you next?’” Richards said..
[via Arkansas Online]
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