Emily Scheck, a 19 year-old college student at Canisius College in New York was disowned by her parents after they found out on social media that she had a girlfriend. Her concerned friends then set up a GoFundMe page to support Emily, and were blown away as the donations started coming in.
When they found out their daughter was a lesbian, Emily’s parents ordered her to undergo conversion therapy. When she refused they withdrew their financial support that allowed her to stay at college.
Scheck’s mother sent her a text that read: “Well I’m done with you. As of right now, declare yourself independent. You are on your own. Please don’t contact us or your siblings.” Emily asked her mother why she was doing this to which she responded: “Because you disgust me.”
Her parents removed their daughter from the family’s insurance. Emily’s father then drove to Canisius College and dropped off her personal belongings, including her birth certificate, clothing, her childhood photos and stuffed animals.
Cut off from financial support, Emily began working two jobs on top of her school work, and her involvement in the college’s athletics team. Between pay-cheques, she was forced to rely on her girlfriend and her roommates for groceries. Emily also considered dropping out altogether and working full-time so that she might be able to afford health insurance.
Out of concern, one of her friends set up a GoFundMe page in order for Emily to stay at college. The page read:
“In August of this year, our friend Emily was kicked out of her home. Her parents found out that she has a girlfriend through her social media, and they gave her the choice; come home and go to therapy or stay at school and be completely cut off.
“She chose the latter and has been doing her best to stay afloat in college without the financial support of her parents.”
The page continued:
“Please consider helping out friend Emily. Any amount of money will help her to buy groceries, finance to finish school, or cover insurance.
“Help her focus on school instead of working to make ends meet. No one thought that her coming out would have such a drastic effect.”
Emily and her friends were blown away by the outpouring of support on the GoFundMe page as the donations started pouring in. They smashed their original target of $5,000 with over $50,000 raised so far.
The fundraising, however, raised some concerns for the athletics board as it might jeopardise the status of her athletic scholarship. The board later qualified that Emily could keep her partial scholarship as well as the funds raised.
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