U. Iowa fraternity mourns loss of two members to cancer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

U. Iowa fraternity mourns loss of two members to cancer

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Nik Jiruska and Jay Burger -- both members of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity at the University of Iowa, and both fighters in their battles with sarcoma.

“Jay and Nik were kind of one in the same,” Sean Grim, a fraternity brother, said over video chat.

Friends, and Nik's wife Moleigh Jiruska, describe them as similar people.

“I think that their personalities were similar in the way that they were both very charismatic,” Jiruska said.

Nik – always making others smile.

“He lit up a room when he would go in there,” said Jiruska.

And Jay – known for socializing.

“He could talk to anyone for a couple minutes and be their best friend,” said Grim, who considered Jay his best friend.

It only made it harder for the fraternity to lose them.

“We had to rally behind our brothers,” Grim said.

The fraternity began holding an annual benefit concert for the boys after Nik was diagnosed in 2013.

Jay was diagnosed a year later.

But the two may have been each other's biggest supporters.

“As much as all of us wanted to help them, we didn't know what they were going through,” Grim said.

"They kind of, you know, clung to each other,” said Jiruska.

And though they're gone, their unique bond, will never be forgotten.

“Brotherhood is something," Grim said, "and they had it like no other.”

“I think their legacy will live on forever in the fraternity,” Jiruska added.

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