A teenage girl was disowned by her family after they discovered a picture of her with another girl.
Emily Scheck, an athlete from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, received an unexpected text from her mum earlier this year, telling her she’d be cut out of their lives forever if she didn’t get therapy to ‘cure’ her.
Not knowing how to respond, Emily said nothing. Refusing to get therapy, the teenager continued with her life. That is, until she came home not long afterwards to find all of her belongings had been thrown into her car.
As reported by Outsports, her parents had not only thrown out her childhood belongings – including any awards, plaques and animals she owned – but they had removed the license plates from her car too.
They couldn’t take her car from her, as she had bought it herself, but they did take her license plates because up until that point, they were paying for her insurance.
Coming home to find all of her belongings stuffed into her car without a second thought, Emily was left alone. She then received a message from her parents, telling her never to speak to them or her siblings ever again.
Speaking to Outsports, Emily described how difficult it was at first:
At the start it was definitely tough. I was lucky to be in pre-season the first couple of weeks because coach could get us meals in the dining hall.
Pre-season for cross-country, which Emily participates in at college. With just $20 to her name and only getting paid every couple of weeks for her two jobs, the teenager was forced to rely on her coach for food.
Thankfully, the generosity displayed by her friends, as well as complete strangers, has meant Emily now has enough money to stay in school and buy food to survive.
A GoFundMe page was set up, with a target of $5,000 to help the 19-year-old ‘to buy groceries, finance to finish school, or cover insurance’.
The page reads:
Emily has no home, and has no family supporting her. In 2019, she will no longer be on her parents health care plan and will have a whole new set of expenses to be covered. She was kicked out of her home for being herself.
No one deserves to have their home and siblings taken away from them for being their true selves. Though she has made a new home in Buffalo through her teammates and her girlfriend, Justyna, we can no longer stand by and do nothing.
It soon beat the target, with a total of more than $100,000 being raised to help the teenage athlete. For a while, it was uncertain whether the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) would allow her to accept the donations as they initially withheld them.
However, they reversed their decision and Canisius College released an official statement regarding the matter:
Canisius College received clarification from the NCAA that Emily Scheck can retain her eligibility and continue to receive GoFundMe donations that assist her with living and educational expenses….NCAA rules allow a school to assist a student-athlete with a fundraiser after a significant life event occurs.
Canisius and the NCAA will continue to work together in support of Emily. She is a member of the Canisius family and we will to do whatever we can to assist her.
Although Emily was disowned by her family, I’m thankful she had the love and support she needed from her friends.
You can donate to her GoFundMe here.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 9am until 9pm Monday to Friday, and 10am until 6pm Saturday, Or email [email protected]