Hello, my name is Harleigh. Pictured above is one of my best friends in the entire world, Emily.
Emily has been a part of my life since we were both ~5 years old (we're 20 now) and for as long as I've known her she has been a caring, enthusiastic, and supportive force. She has always worked extremely hard to be successful, from elementary school to the end of high school, she was on the honour roll. Now a life-sciences student at the prestigious University of Toronto, she aspires to go into forensic anthropology.
However, early last year, tragedy struck her family. Emily's mother suddenly passed away due to an unforeseen cardiac problem, right in front of her. Shortly after this, Emily's father was diagnosed with both Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and oral cancer. After going through months of treatment, a surgery to remove his cancer (a surgery with a mere 35% chance of survival), AND surviving a heart attack only a few days after this invasive procedure, her dad was given a good bill of health and was in recovery.
In late July 2018, Emily's father began to lose his appetite and stopped drinking water. After going a week without nourishment, he was taken to the hospital and was believed to be going through dehydration, and only dehydration. He was also dealing with breathing issues at this time. A few days later, it was found out that her dad's lung had filled with fluid (nearly 2.5L OR 84.5 fl/oz.) and had to be drained. The drainage was successful and her dad was speaking and breathing closer to normal again.
On August 11th 2018, I received a text from Emily saying her dad had cancer again, that it had metastasized, and that because her father was already so weak due to being dehydrated and sick with pneumonia, there was nothing the hospital was able to do. The next day, Emily was told her dad's health was declining rapidly and that "what [they] thought was weeks [was] now days."
Today, August 14th 2018 in the early afternoon, Emily called saying that her father had passed away.
Currently, Emily is living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins. Although Emily is safe and happy with her family, I would love to help her and her family out to help pay for living expenses and the cost of tuition at U of T.
Although Emily does have some money to help pay for school, donations would really help her fully pay for everything (textbooks, class equipment, etc.) as well as her rent while living away from her aunt's house, groceries, and more.
Seeing your 20-year-old best friend lose her mom and dad (who were the most incredible people) all within a year-and-a-half really puts everything into perspective.
All I ask is that you to donate what you can and that you share this GoFundMe.
My best friend of 15 years has officially lost both of her parents within a year and a half of each other and I want to help her get through school and life without extra stress caused by finances.