Northwestern student groups raise more than $6,000 for Nordman’s lung transplant

Various campus organizations have raised money on behalf of rising Communication junior Josie Nordman. She underwent double lung transplant surgery early Sunday morning.

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Various campus organizations have raised money on behalf of rising Communication junior Josie Nordman. She underwent double lung transplant surgery early Sunday morning.

Ally Mutnick, Assistant Campus Editor

More than 30 Northwestern theater companies, clubs and Greek organizations came together during the last few weeks to fundraise for a life-saving double-lung transplant for Josie Nordman, a Communication sophomore with cystic fibrosis.

A wristband sale, coordinated by Nordman’s sorority Chi Omega and staffed by the NU Equestrian Team and 22 other Greek organizations, raised about $5,400 selling bracelets printed with the message, “Support Josie,” across campus from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1.

Sharon Reshef, Chi O philanthropy co-chair, said with donations that other NU groups have sent them, they will most likely give Nordman’s family about $6,000.

“It actually exceeded our expectations,” the SESP junior said. “We had no idea how much we were going to raise. Ultimately our goal was $5,000 and we raised (more than that).”

Nordman, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 4 months old, was placed on the lung transplant list last December. She is down to only 16 percent lung function because of complications from her disease.

Her family will have to pay up to $75,000 of the $750,000 transplant and have asked the community for help. As of Feb. 6, a donation website set up by Nordman’s former teacher has raised $30,814. Most NU groups donate directly to Nordman’s lung transplant fund. Nicolle Nordman, Josie’s mother, estimates they have about $35,000 total including NU efforts.

“It’s been a lot more than I even could have possibly imagined they would do and they are planning to do more,” Nicolle Nordman said. “That’s really amazing.”

Reshef said all the organizations that worked the tables were very helpful, coming out with a lot of energy despite the freezing temperature and unpredictable weather.

Cam Ulmer, fundraising chair for Phi Mu Alpha fraternity, helped sell wristbands at The Rock on Friday. He said he was surprised by how many people bought wristbands to show their support.

“I think they gave more because we were sticking it out in the cold,” he said. “It was below zero most of the day.”

Ulmer said after the sale, the brothers decided to donate the money from the chili sale at their annual Super Bowl party to Nordman. He said not many brothers are close with Nordman, but all are eager to support her. The event raised close to $500.

“Even if we don’t know her, she is a fellow Northwestern student in our community,” he said. “We still felt like we could help out in any way.”

Almost all the student theater groups that comprise the Student Theatre Coalition have or will hold fundraisers at their recent and upcoming shows, according to Jeff Sachs, Lovers & Madmen president and StuCo board member.

Sachs said in addition to sending around collection tins during shows, many of the groups have come up with other fundraising ideas.

Lovers & Madmen’s most recent production, Midnight’s Dream, raised $788 for Nordman. The play, which was set in a club, sold non-alcoholic drinks and held an extra showing with all the profits donated to Nordman.

The Dolphin Show’s production of “My Fair Lady” raised $475 holding a silent auction of costumes and props during both weekends of the show, according to Sachs.

Nordman, who is producing a show for Lovers & Madmen in the spring, said she was touched by all of the efforts.

“I love theater people and their creativity,” she said. “Those groups are donating proceeds that they could totally be keeping for themselves to help me with my medical costs.”

Besides StuCo, Challah for Hunger donated $300 of their proceeds to Nordman, according to Julia Rudansky, a Weinberg sophomore and the organization’s president.

The Theatre and Interpretation Center also raised about $600 by collecting money at its production of Nickel and Dimed, according to Nichole Cooper, TIC marketing and communications manager.

Sachs organized one of the first fundraisers at Cheesie’s Pub and Grub on behalf of StuCo and raised about $500. He said he hopes the companies continue to at least take collections at their shows through the end of the year.

“I didn’t know how well we would be doing,” he said of StuCo’s efforts. “But just the fact that almost all the groups are taking part in something is so great.”

Reshef said that Nicolle Nordman had told her she was extremely thankful for the wristband sale and all the NU efforts to support Josie.

“It was really our pleasure,” Reshef said. “There is a girl in our sorority who needs a life-saving lung transplant. Of course we are going to do something.”

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Nordman has had cystic fibrosis since she was 4 months old. She was diagnosed with the disease at four months old. Additionally, the story stated donations were made directly to Nicolle Nordman. They were made to a lung transplant fund. The Daily regrets the errors.