By Nick Ferrara
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
Aaron Goldenberg was ready to get back to school at Towson University last August when he learned that one of his best friends was suffering from cancer.
Goldenberg received the call from his fraternity brother, Matt Geisser, who told him that he would not be back at school the following semester because he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer just below his knee.
“Matt and I talked in early August about the upcoming semester, after he was diagnosed,” Goldenberg said. “I reassured him that he would not only be an active member of the fraternity, but he would be our main focus throughout the semester as well.”
“I didn’t really understand at the time what exactly I had to do to get myself better,” Geisser said. “All I could think about is how I wasn’t going to be back at school with all of my friends.”
Goldenberg, who is the president of his fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi, has spent much of the fall semester raising money to help Geisser and his family pay for the cancer treatments.
For example, of the $80,000 that Alpha Sigma Phi has helped raise in the past year for multiple philanthropies, Goldenberg said, almost $30,000 has gone towards helping Geisser.
“I met Matt my third day of freshman year and we instantly became best friends,” Goldenberg said. “When he told me in July about the possibility that he might have cancer, we joked and laughed that there was no possible way and it was just a scare.”
When this became a reality for Geisser and his family, Goldenberg went back to school knowing that he had to use his voice and position to help raise as much money as possible for Geisser to show him that people are fighting for him to get better.
“We try our best to help the community, whether it is participating in park cleanups, giving a helping hand with events in the area, or reaching out for a friend in need,” Goldenberg said. “I hope people realize no matter who you are or what your intentions are, big or small, you will have an impact on someone who may be struggling.”
With the help of his fraternity, Goldenberg created a Go Fund Me page that has raised $26,000 in just over two months for Geisser and his family’s medical expenses.
“This whole situation has been so crazy and unfortunate,” Towson University graduate Moe Ndiaye said. “You have a great guy that was diagnosed unexpectedly and has to put his life on pause as a college student.”
The fraternity also hosted a dodge ball tournament on Nov. 11 in which almost every chapter on Towson’s campus participated in, raising over $3,000. The money came from admission into the tournament as well as revenue from “Team Geisser” bracelets and T-shirts.
Bake sales were organized and each one raised over $100, Goldenberg said, adding that this was considered a huge success for such a small event.
“I do not think a person needs to hold a position of power to be successful, but that person must have the right motives and intentions,” Goldenberg said. “We took a chance and tried to raise money for a friend in need, hoping people would react, and we could not be happier with the results so far.”
Geisser just recently had surgery to remove the cancer from his leg but his battle isn’t over yet. He is expected to miss the remainder of the fall semester as well as all of the spring semester as he continues his treatment.
“We have many more events and ideas that we want to implement throughout Matt’s process as it is not over yet,” Goldenberg said. “So far we have surprised him with all of our events, so I can’t disclose what events we have planned for him in the near future.”
Geisser is currently recovering from his recent surgery and staying positive in his fight against cancer.
“I can’t believe how supportive everyone has been, even people I don’t know that well, it really does make me feel better knowing everyone is pulling for me,” Geisser said. “It means a lot that he would start the Go Fund Me for me because it shows how much he cares and how much everyone who supported me cares.”