Skrobot died Thursday due to complications from Type 1 diabetes — a condition he suffered from throughout his life. Skrobot died just two weeks after his 40th birthday, according to his friend Frank Frydrych.
"It's unfathomable," said Frydrych, who organized the online fundraiser with a goal of $25,000.
Skrobot was born and raised in Ashburn, attending St. Bede the Venerable Parish at 4440 W. 83rd St. After graduating from the Catholic elementary school, he went on to attend Brother Rice High School in Mount Greenwood.
Skrobot graduated from the all-boys Catholic high school at 10001 S. Pulaski Road in 1995 and then attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. That's where he met his wife as well as Frydrych, a Theta Chi fraternity brother.
"Al was one of those guys that was very welcoming," Frydrych said. "He had a very dry sense of humor and wonderful timing with one-liners that would light up a room."
Skrobot was also a die-hard Cubs fan, despite being raised on the South Side. His love affair with the team can be traced back to Ron Santo, the Cubs' Hall-of-Fame third baseman and radio announcer who also suffered from diabetes.
"He would actually listen to the games on the radio and have them muted on the TV," Frydrych said.
Skrobot graduated with a degree in community health with an emphasis in health administration. He was the first member of his family to graduate from college. He met his wife on campus in 1997, and they got ngaged a year later.
They were married at St. Bede in May 2015, just a year after Skrobot required a kidney transplant due to his diabetes. The condition also required a pancreas transplant after their wedding.
Skrobot settled in Kankakee in 2009. He worked as a medical billing specialist but struggled to find full-time work. He found himself without a job last year and medical bills quickly began to pile up, Frydrych said.
"We are just trying to raise as much money for [Jackie] and her son as we can," said Frydrych, adding that Skrobot had no life insurance and funeral expenses need to be paid.