We don’t often hear heartwarming stories come from college fraternities, but this past month Emerson College changed all that. Donnie Collins, a transgender student at Emerson College and member of the Alpha Chapter of Phi Alpha Tau, discovered his medical insurance wouldn’t pay for his female-to-male Top Surgery – this surgery would help him further his transition.

When the members of his fraternity discovered this, they stepped in to raise the funds for the surgery. The members created an Indiegogo project to raise the money to cover all costs. From the project page:

Since the inception of the fund, the Indiegogo project has surpassed the goal of paying for Donnie’s surgery. As of the publishing of this post, the fund has raised over $20,000 and the fraternity has decided to donate all excess money to the Jim Collins Foundation.

From the onset, though, the Fraternity has maintained “We are here less to raise money, and more to tell a story. The story of transformation, and story of self-discovery, and the story of brotherhood.”

UPDATE: Collins posted a statement to his Indiegogo fundraising page on Wednesday night explaining that he received “very unexpected news regarding his insurance claim.” Collins reports that his insurance will be covering most of the cost of his breast removal procedure, except for $2,000 needed for his co-pay, travel and care expenses. He says the rest of the money the fraternity raised (about $18,000) will be going to the Jim Collins Foundation, a charity that provides financial assistance for transgender patients. In a video Collins posted on YouTube last night, he said, “It’s been a really incredible experience…I honestly couldn’t be happier with the way things are turning out. Also, the Ironman 3 trailer came out! Which I’m super excited about.” (via MotherJones)

Image via BostInno