“We thought it would add some more meaning to the event beyond just a spirit of competition,” said Mauri (Marzolino ’02) Westbrook, director of student organizations and financial director of Sing Song. Audience members were given the chance to contribute to the effort during intermission of the Friday and Saturday shows.
A couple of weeks before Sing Song, women’s social club Ko Jo Kai heard about an alumna who was in serious medical trouble. Jenny (Ross ’01) Bizaillion was in the ICU at Baylor Medical Center, fighting for her life. What began as a misdiagnosed case of Strep A turned into pneumonia and then septic shock. Jenny had several surgeries and amputations, but the situation was grave.
The women of Ko Jo Kai decided that if they won Sing Song, they would donate their money to Jenny’s medical expenses. As Jenny’s condition worsened, the news of her situation spread quickly around Scruggs Gym in the Gibson Health and P.E. Center, where Sing Song groups wait, practice and hang out between performances.
By the time the winners (Sigma Theta Chi, Gamma Sigma Phi and the freshman class) were determined on Saturday night, all three groups had decided to give their money to Jenny.
“It reminds you that even in the midst of the spirit of competition, we’re a community that surrounds each other and lifts each other up,” said Westbrook.
Jenny died Monday, Feb. 23, at 3:38 p.m. She is survived by her parents, Rick and Beverly Ross; two brothers, Josh Ross (’03) and Jonathan Ross (’05); her husband, David Bizaillion (’99); and a daughter, Malaya. Her memorial service will be held Thursday, Feb. 25, at 1 p.m., and will be streamed live on the Web here.
Donations also can be made to Jenny’s family through the Gregg Pearson Foundation, a charitable organization founded in honor of Gregg Pearson (’89), who died in 2003 after struggling for more than a decade with a brain tumor.
We ask for your prayers for the Ross and Bizaillion families as they grieve the loss of Jenny.