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  #1  
Old 02-04-2004, 05:18 PM
Tom Earp Tom Earp is offline
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Associated Press
February 4, 2004

Man and Northern Michigan fraternity brothers form lifelong bonds

By A.M. KELLEY, The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Don Kromer moved into a fraternity house in January
1979 with a lot of help from his friends.

He needed all he could get.

Five months before the move, he had severed his spinal chord in a diving
accident.

At the time, Kromer was a Northern Michigan University junior, a history
and political science major, 21 years old and a quadriplegic. He was not
looking forward to life in a wheelchair.

"My spirit was broken," he said. "My hope was simply gone."

The men at Lambda Chi Alpha in Marquette were his lifeline in more ways
than one.

They promised to help him graduate. This was no small effort. They held
fund-raisers to finance the remodeling of the fraternity house to
accommodate Kromer. And they received training from Dr. Michael Coyne, then
the head of Rehabilitation Medicine at Marquette General Hospital.

They had to learn to feed, shower and dress Kromer, as well as learn
catheterization and bowel management.

"His fraternity brothers took that on," Coyne said. "It's a real example of
what can be accomplished."

Now, 25 years later, Kromer is 46 years old and back in Marquette for
surgery, and another generation of the same fraternity is again his right -
and left hand men.

One member, Dave Glinsky, 19, makes time in his daily school schedule for
Kromer. He shows up at 3 p.m. every day. He shaves Kromer, helps make him
comfortable on pillows, writes notes for him in a journal, brings him
movies and a daily dose of hope.

"Hope is very important," Kromer said. "Like: I hope Dave comes every day."

Another member of the fraternity relieves Glinsky at 5 p.m. for feeding,
more care and company. Glinsky has made a seven-day schedule, and Kromer is
well cared for.

"I've always wondered how someone could get through something like this,"
Kromer said. "It's faith, family, fraternity and friendship."

That combination enabled him to graduate from Northern Michigan in 1982.
Then he went to graduate school at Arizona State University, got a teaching
certificate and taught there for a couple of years.

Kromer lives in his own house in Mullett Lake, just south of the Mackinac
Bridge near his parents. He's employed by Vital Care Corp., a home health
care agency based in Cheboygan, and schedules nursing care for its patients.

He is also a bereavement counselor for Hospice of the Straits.

Coyne, who has remained Kromer's friend for 25 years, calls him "a unique
and outstanding person."

Kromer is no less appreciative of Coyne and the men he trained - "brothers"
he calls them - to carry him through his ordeal.

"I'd be proud to have them as my sons," Kromer said of the young men who
visit him daily in the hospital while he's recuperating.

"We're just glad to help him any way we can," Glinsky said.



No Matter whether it is LXA or ANY GLO!
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2004, 05:26 PM
Lady Pi Phi Lady Pi Phi is offline
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That is such a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

While I'm not in the same situation as this man, I went through some rough times at school and the love, friendship and support of my sisters helped me a lot. Even just knowing they would be there if I needed them helped me through some of the tough times.
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Old 02-04-2004, 05:58 PM
sigtau305 sigtau305 is offline
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Great Post, Tom


It shows the true meaning of what Brotherhood/Sisterhood is all about, no matter what GLO you belong to.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2004, 07:56 PM
TriDeltaGal TriDeltaGal is offline
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Amazing story! I love reading positive Greek news!
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