Update Nov. 20: Emily Scheck has stopped accepting donations. Over 2,500 people contributed over $100k to her gofundme campaign, her roommate wrote on the campaign: “By the amount of shares and attention this story was able to bring, Emily has more than enough to replace the financial support her parents will no longer give. Even though donations are no longer available at this time, I strongly encourage giving to other LGBT organizations to continue on the love to others struggling as Emily did.”
You can still leave a comment of support.
An incredible display of support for Canisius College cross-country runner Emily Scheck has been pouring in over the weekend, demonstrating the big heart of the LGBTQ community and those who love and support us.
In case you’re not familiar with the story we ran on Friday, Scheck was abandoned by her parents three months ago when they discovered she is gay. A friend started a gofundme campaign to help her pay for food, books and tuition, and the NCAA told her she had to choose between the money or competing in the sport she loves. Hours after we ran the story on Friday, the NCAA reversed its decision.
The over 2,400 monetary donations so far, totaling over $95,000, have not exactly come from big-pocketed Canisius College boosters looking to back-door incentives for a cross-country runner. Instead they have been donations of as little as $5 from people simply looking to show Scheck that there are people — perfect strangers — who do love her for who she is. The average donation has been under $40.
The messages left on the gofundme page reflect messages of love, and also offers of support beyond a financial contribution:
- This donation is approved by Jesus.
- You are welcome for Thanksgiving and any other time. While I can’t pay your tuition. I can offer our home for your new home base.
- I have a a gay daughter and I cannot imagine not loving her!
- My husband and I are both Canisius alumnus- if you ever need a place to stay during school break friend and message me please! We live near the Bills stadium.
- Stay true to yourself! I’m proud of you. Wish I could do more, but others will help!
- Sending love. Take care of yourself. You’re always welcome here in CA for holidays!!
In addition to the outpouring of public support, which has included many thousands of social-media posts, members of the media have taken to her plight and shared her story.
- Buffalo News: Disowned for being gay, Canisius athlete Emily Scheck will keep running
- Washington Post: NCAA relents: Lesbian college athlete, disowned by parents, can get outside help
- New York Daily News: Donations pour in for college athlete disowned by parents for being gay
- Yahoo! Sports: NCAA allows gay cross-country runner disowned by family to receive funds from GoFundMe page
- Daily Beast: NCAA Rules Gay Athlete Disowned by Parents Can Keep Scholarship Funds
- The Griffin: Let Emily be herself
She’s even been contacted by someone at Ellen with interest in her story.
While Scheck continues to deal with the emotional toll of her parents’ abandonment, it is encouraging to see all of the support she has received outside of her family. And yes, she has said that even her parents have been in contact to open the door to reconciliation in the future.