DANBURY, Conn. — A 15-year-old from Danbury who was once homeless hopes to soar beyond the days of living in a car with his mom.
Elijah Crehan wants to become a pilot — and he is asking for help to make his dream come true.
Elijah has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for flying lessons, which he needs to get his pilot's license.
So far, his GoFundMe page, which is trending and has been shared about 50 times, has raised $255 of its goal of $6,000 -- which is the cost of a pilot's license. Flight lessons cost $170 each.
"I have been fortunate enough to have a few flight lessons out of Danbury airport," he says on his GoFundMe page. "I love the feeling of being free, but at the same time the responsibility and seriousness you need as well."
Elijah's mother Heather Roles, who works as a waitress, is raising him on her own. His father has bipolar mental illness, which has left him permanently disabled and unable to work.
To make ends meet, Roles works long hours as a waitress at a local restaurant. Elijah spent hours of his childhood with a babysitter while mom worked, Roles said.
“I was against TV so I encouraged him to draw. He always drew pictures of planes and trains," Roles said. "That is when he started juggling lemons."
Elijah has gone on to make money from this craft by performing in circus acts and at town festivals.
On his GoFundMe page, Elijah wrote, “Even if things are not perfect now, I'm always grateful for what I have and what I am able to do. I always want to help others and achieve the things that I set goals for."
Roles said that when Elijah was 4 years old, she came upon tough times and became homeless. Mother and son had to live in a car.
"When we moved into our now small but cozy warm Bohemian home, we had nothing -- not even beds," she said.
Yet, she said, "Elijah was so appreciative of everything."
On his GoFundMe page, Elijah says that when he is older, he wants to pay it forward and help other kids who are in his situation.
“I want to go from living in a car at age 4 to being someone successful in something I know I can do. I just need the chance to get there," said Elijah, who is a freshman at Danbury High School.
One donation is from "Eyeball & Eyelash Budnik," who said, "We've watched you grow up into a kind, creative and spirited soul, dream big Elijah... we know you will soar."
Click here to contribute to Elijah Crehan's GoFundMe page.
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