UPDATE 1: Thank you all so much for your support! I really am beyond grateful and never imagined to receive such an overwhelming response. Any donations received over the goal will be used towards medical school. I am so thankful for all the offers for a place to stay while I finish my degree, and I will be combing through them all in the next few days. I understand there are concerns about this campaign and questions about my health; I apologize for my inability to specifically disclose this information (and any travel I have done in the last year has been to view medical schools, for my future). I never imagined my campaign would be shared with so many people. Thank you all for the well wishes; with your donations I will be able to focus on my health and school and I cannot be more excited to be healthy and housed.
UPDATE 2: (12/19) The following is to help clarify any information that may not have been made clear previously: First, my name is Shealan Cruise and I am requesting the donations my for own schooling. Second, my goal was $5,000 and I have amazingly made over double that (Thank you!), and I have received a lot of questions about how I will be using the additional donations. Any donations left over after my tuition costs will be put towards housing until my graduation in June 2019, used towards medical school applications, and material to study for my MCAT exams (these are tests to apply for medical school). I am still receiving many questions about my specific illnesses that are going to prevent me from working my usual 60/week; although I am grateful for the outpour of love and generosity, making what I know so far public is not something I felt, nor still feel, comfortable doing. These problems range from digestive problems to reproductive health, to resulting mental health diagnoses. I have been advised that the stress of working multiple jobs over the years, maintaining full time status (or more) at UCSD, and my volunteer work has led to worsening conditions and with the consistent stress I will not get better. UCSD does have many resources, and I utilize all that are available to me, such as being allowed to pick up food from the food panty on campus once a week (although they sometimes do not carry items within my new dietary restrictions). However, these resources are not enough to cover housing until graduation, food within my restrictions (and enough to last the week), nor do they cover the cost of books and such things that I have been sacrificing to buy in order to barely pay my tuition. With the donations received, I will be able to continue my schooling, and I feel so loved and very blessed. Thank you.
I shower in the gym on the college campus, eat any food I can secure at the bar I work in, and park in well-lit parking lots to sleep. This is because I live in my car so I can afford my college tuition. Although I am content with the sacrifices I have chosen to make for my future, this is a part of my story I never thought I would be sharing publicly, until I received medical news that I must address. I have a goal of $5,000 to allow me to take a medical leave of absence from work.
First, let me explain how and why I got to where I am: There is an undeniable desire within me to be able to give and love and help every person I come into contact with. I was faced with the decision to pursue an education in the medical field that will enable me to follow this dream of giving, or to continue living a life within my comfort zone without fulfillment. This choice forever changed my life.
I began to consider every possible solution I could imagine after learning there was not enough financial aid available to assist me with tuition payments; the first few weeks following my intent to enroll at UCSD, I tried forming new budgets, punching in calculations that would never add up. That was when I made the choice. I wanted to be able to help other students in similar positions one day, even if I had to sacrifice my comfort for the time. I decided to put my 30-day notice in at my apartment and down-size to my car. I began selling most of my belongings and started planning how I was going to make this work. Over the course of the next year I exhausted whatever aid I had fought for, the loan options the college provided, and worked multiple jobs to cover the ominous tuition bill.
Now let me explain why I am reaching out: This plan would have worked, and I would have been on track to graduate on time, however, I was recently struck with unfortunate medical news. It has always been a dream of mine to independently pay my way through college. However, I understand I will be unable to accomplish those bigger dreams without the help of others. I am seeking help paying for my next quarter of tuition to allow me to take a medical leave of absence at work. This will enable me to care for myself and make required doctors appointments to be healthy again. I do not plan to take time off school, as that is my first priority.
I have aspirations of attending Stanford or John Hopkins University to continue my education through medical school. I plan to one day become a neurosurgeon, as a way to give back to those that need it most. I am interested in the medical field because I have a unique view on our current healthcare system; I am a woman who has not always had health coverage. I understand the struggles of those who struggle; the people who must decide whether they or their child are in a life threatening position or if they can ‘wait it out’ to avoid medical bills. I hope to one day use my knowledge in the medical field to help cater to the underserved American populations. Ultimately, I know I must keep pushing and I will accomplish my dreams. In the meantime, I am asking for assistance to one day have the opportunity to help your aunt, your friend, or even your child through the study and power of medicine. I have a goal of $5,000 to secure my ability to complete my undergraduate degree. I have realized it is time for me to reach out and ask for your help.