Help Andy Continue His Education at NIU

I am a soon-to-be 20 year old returning for my Junior year at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb Illinois, but I am short on tuition money. I am a Communications major with a minor in journalism, hoping to become a sports radio broadcaster one day. Sports are my passion and being able to have a job in which I am around sports and discuss them on a daily bases would be a dream come true. Here is my story:

My mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2005. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy and other medications did not work and over time, my mother’s condition deteriorated, to the point she couldn't walk or talk. My mother passed away May 28, 2007, at the age of 46. I was 12 at this time.
During this time, my father, a carpenter, was not working so he could take care of my sick mother. After she passed, he went back to work, but was laid-off shortly after due to the economy. After my father was laid-off, he was on unemployment for a while, but could not find a job. He tried applying for disability due to chronic back problems that had started after years of working in carpentry, but was never able to receive it. We ended up losing our house and having to live with my grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s disease and can't always remember who we are.

Unfortunately, my father was also a drinker. His drinking lead to multiple trips to the hospital and eventually, a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. The diabetes, along with his chronic back problems, made it difficult for him to get around and even more difficult to find a job. His drinking continued and he was in and out of the hospital for a year, with his health quickly deteriorating before he passed away on April 19, 2014, two days before his 52nd birthday.

After he passed, my aunt and her daughter moved in with my grandmother to take care of her because of her Alzheimer’s, effectively leaving me with no place to live. I was fortunate enough to be taken in by my girlfriend's mother, a single parent of 3, for this summer. This was not easy for them to do as my girlfriend’s mother has MS and is unable to work, living off of Social Security. I am very grateful for them taking me in and providing me with a place to live before I return to school this fall.

After my father’s passing, I went back and changed my financial aid status, but it did not make too much of a difference because my father had no income before he passed, and the state had run out of grant fund money already. I am a little more than $8,000 short of tuition because of it. I am working at Wal-Mart to help pay off what I still owe, but am well short of what is needed to continue on. Any donation would be appreciated and welcomed with a great thank you! Any extra money donated would be used to help pay for repairs to my car so I can get back and forth to work while I'm at school so I can still have a job and start saving up for next year’s tuition.

Jim Valvano once said "Don't give up. Don't ever give up." Although I've had my fair share of downfalls in life, education has been my motivating factor to continue on and make my dreams come true and my parents proud. I have never given up and hope I don't have to now. Please help a good cause. Any donation will help and I will be EXTREMELY grateful. Thank you for taking time out to read this and donate. Go Huskies. 

"Forward. Together. Forward."
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Organizer

Andy Carrigan 
Organizer
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