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Nicholas McDonald grew up tempted by drugs and under pressure to hit the streets. Lacking male role models, the Maryland resident says he always saw his mom as "the apple of my eye."
Natasha Shamone-Gilmore tried to protect her son growing up. Now, 24-year-old Nicholas is doing his best to return the favor.
Nicholas' family is one of three Morning Edition is profiling in our series Family Matters: The Money Squeeze. Like so many 20-somethings, he is taking some extra time — at home — to chart his journey.
"I can't do whatever I want to do," he says. "My heart is in so many different places. I can't pick up and go."
His grandfather, suffering from dementia, lives with the family — three generations under one roof. For Nicholas, it's been an opportunity to help his mom, get to know his grandfather and find himself.