CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $40,000 for a Lenoir-Rhyne University baseball student whose parents died of COVID-19 less than a month apart.
Andy Lopez is a Chicago native who plays catcher for the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears.
Lopez said his parents Guadalupe and Maria Lopez contracted COVID-19 in October 2020.
His father was a 911 dispatcher, and his mother ran an income tax service.
Andy Lopez remembered traveling home to see his father in the hospital, just before he died from the virus in November.
"I had to turn a corner and look at my dad pass away through a glass," Lopez said. "That was the first thing I saw."
His mother passed away from COVID-19 a few weeks later.
"It's heartbreaking for all of us," Lopez said. "For my dad's family, friends, and my mom's family, friends, us, [their children]."
Lopez said his father was a Houston Astros fan, and his mother was a Chicago Cubs fan.
Both were emotional when he got chosen to play college baseball.
"It was just like a sense of pride for them," Lopez recalled. "'Hey, I'm proud of you for doing this and keep going.'"
Following his parents' deaths, Lopez returned to Hickory.
"Me not putting my parents' hard work in vain because they invested so much for me to come down here and finish school," Lopez said. "That was all they wanted."
The baseball team started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for his college expenses.
The campaign ended after they hit their goal of more than $40,000 in a month.
"It's shell-shocking for me," he said. "I just wish I could say thank you to everybody like personally one on one."
Lopez also has an older sister, Erica Lopez, and an older brother, Ricardo Lopez.
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