It’s been a while since we’ve posted one, but yes, people are still shaving their heads, pretending they have cancer and making good money doing it.
Police arrested Brandi Lee Weaver-Gates, 23, of Bellefonte on Tuesday, and charged her with theft by deception and receiving stolen property. Investigators said Weaver-Gates took money from events that raised it on her behalf to help pay for her medical bills associated with her battle with cancer.
Weaver-Gates, who is a former Miss Pennsylvania U.S. International pageant winner, would tell people she was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, investigators and court documents said.
Trooper Thomas Stock, the state police investigator, said she didn’t have the disease, and called her efforts to make people believe she had it “an elaborate scheme.” He said she would have relatives drive her to John Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, tell them to wait in the lobby, and then go into another part of the hospital to return hours later to make it appear she got treatment.
Stock said she would tell people she was also a patient at Geisinger Medical Center and UPMC Medical Centers. He said none of the facilities had her listed as a patient.
The most recent event held for her, Bingo for Brandi, netted her $14,000, according to police.
In addition to the charges she faces, she’s also become what I guess you’d call a former former Miss Pennsylvania, as she’s been stripped of her win by pageant organizers.
“We were also led to believe that she was dealing with this horrible disease and stood by her as she struggled being a beauty queen and a cancer patient,” the group said. “We at Butler’s Beauties believe that with a crown and sash you can accomplish many great things as a role model, spokesmodel and community leader as a beauty pageant queen. When you deceive the public and take people’s money that is under the pretense of fraud, we will not tolerate those actions.”
The statement added that she is no longer a representative of the Miss Pennsylvania U.S. International organization “and will be required to return her crown and sash upon her release from being detained.”