Madeline-Michelle Carthen has been dead for 16 years.
At least, that's what the government is saying.
Ever since discovering that her social security number had been linked to somebody declared "deceased," Carthen has been fighting for her identity ever since.
Carthen says that she was forced to change her last name from Coburn after her life was flipped upside down in 2007. She also says that she has already done everything that she can think of to prove to the government that she is in fact very much alive.
She has tried local governments.
She has tried the state government.
She has even reached out to all four presidents who have been in the White House since she discovered this problem.
None of it has worked.
"I was applying for my International Business Intern Exchange program for the summer semester to be in Accra, Ghana, at Legon University in the financial aid office filling out the FAFSA for paperwork for my summer tuition… My financial aid officer went to the fax machine to get the paperwork because she had made contact with Sallie Mae, and it came back ‘applicant deceased, code 29,'" Carthen said.
It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.