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Rutgers Student Loses Parents In Hurricane Sandy; Gets Help From 'Wish Upon A Hero'

NEW YORK (CBNewYork) - Zoe Everett describes herself as a typical 19-year-old college student.

That is until Oct. 29 -- the day Hurricane Sandy arrived and changed her life forever.

In a letter to "Wish Upon A Hero," the world's largest social helping network, Everett wrote, "My name is Zoe. Before Hurricane Sandy I was a typical 19-year-old student at Rutgers. But then came October 29th. I was studying for an exam, waiting out Hurricane Sandy and then I received a phone call. At 11 pm on October 29th, I found out both of my parents had been killed."

Everett's parents were driving their pickup truck home with her two younger brothers, who were sleeping in the back seat.  A wind gust from Sanday blew a 100-foot tree onto the cab of the pickup truck, killing both of Everett's parents.

"My brothers made it out alive but with some bumps and bruises. I needed to get back home to take care of my 3 younger siblings (ages 17, 14 and 11). I finally made it to the hospital in the morning after battling with Hurricane Sandy all night. I was no longer your typical 19-year-old. A moment in time, a second of bad luck, changed my life and my sibling's lives forever," Everett wrote in her letter to "Wish Upon A Hero."

She went on to state that her goals were to be the guardian of her three younger siblings and to keep the family in the house they all grew up in, but said she was struggling with the challenges of her situation.

"Money is stuck in limbo and I'm doing everything I can to keep my family's stability in place. School is no longer a priority, but still a goal I am determined to achieve, but my family, my siblings, come first. I love them more than they could ever fathom and I am ready and willing to put any amount of weight on my shoulders to lessen the load on theirs," Everett wrote in her letter.

Everett said her siblings were "children who deserve to be kids and enjoy the life they have lying before them," but made a plea for help in order to meet the family's basic needs.

"I am going to be wise. I am going to be patient. But I won't be naive, and I won't say that I don't need help. Our immediate needs are to pay for groceries and bills in the upcoming months. Every donation is vital to the health and comfort of my siblings I care for and love," Everett wrote.

Everett's wish has been granted, and so far she has raised more than $56,000 -- well over her initial goal of $5,000.

If you would like to do donate to other families in need click the link below, click here.  You can also join CBS' effort to raise money for hurricane relief by clicking here.

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