“It was life changing:” Wauwatosa West hosts fundraiser that gives student new hope

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WAUWATOSA -- A Wauwatosa West student loses his mom to cancer and loses his home. But, thanks to new friends and strangers he has not lost hope. In fact, he's on his way to making his dream come true.

Ty Hazelwood

Ty Hazelwood

New to Wauwatosa, Ty Hazelwood has only known these guys a few months, but they've become his family.

"A lot of the love I have been shown I feel like I don't deserve, but I appreciate it," said Ty Hazelwood.

In April, Ty lost his mom to breast cancer. It was a day before his 18th birthday.

"It was life changing. I guess it almost leaves you breathless." said Hazelwood.

Forced to leave their apartment, he nearly became homeless. But his friend's mothers couldn't let that happen.

"I am really proud he has held up with this determination," said Merrijeanne Lawrence.

Merrijeanne Lawrence took him in.

"This is a kid with a dream worth achieving and that he is doing this for himself and his mom's memory," said Lawrence.

Ty Hazelwood and Merrijean Lawrence

Ty Hazelwood and Merrijeanne Lawrence

Still coping with his mother's death, Ty graduated from Wauwatosa West High School.

"She always told me she was waiting for me to graduate and wanted to see me walk and stuff," said Hazelwood.

He's been accepted into college, and thanks to the community's support, will study to be a lawyer.

One family started a GoFundMe Page to pay for school -- hoping to raise $6,000.

"When you have kids and when you're part of a community like Wauwatosa it's your obligation to help people who need help," said Bill Noorlander, person who started GoFundMe Page.

This overwhelming show of support is giving Ty new hope for the future.

"I will be here for him as long as it takes," said Lawrence.

"It's humbled me a lot and put a lot of things into perspective," said Hazelwood.

Ty will go to Wisconsin Lutheran College this fall.