Cancer Fakery On A Scale That’s Going To Be Hard To Top

Of all the people we’ve covered here faking cancer for money or attention or whatever other reasons they might have, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone pull it off on as massive a scale as Belle Gibson did. Through blogs, books, apps, fundraising (both on behalf of charities and unbeknownst to them) and media appearances, she basically managed to rip off anyone and everyone who paid her any mind to the tune of hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions of dollars. Not only that, but by promoting unproven or outright quack treatments for the various strokes and forms of terminal cancers she claimed to have (brain, blood, spleen, uterus, liver, kidney, neurological), she endangered untolled numbers of lives in the process. and had it not been for suspicions and a lot of investigative reporting, she’d probably still be at it, too.

If you’re interested in this sort of thing at all, click over and read the Wikipedia entry linked above. It’s quite well researched.

Annabelle Natalie “Belle” Gibson (born October 1991) is an Australian app developer, blogger, and alternative health advocate whose marketing platform was founded on her fraudulent claims of having donated significant income to charities, and of having foregone conventional cancer treatments to positively self-manage multiple cancers through diet and controversial alternative therapies.
Gibson is the author of the The Whole Pantry smartphone application and its later companion cookbook, both of which were subsequently withdrawn from sale. The Whole Pantry application was featured in promotional material for the as-yet unreleased Apple Watch, but was removed from Apple advertising after the controversy broke.
In early March 2015, after media reporting identified Gibson’s apparently fraudulent claims of charity fundraising and donation-making, further media investigation soon revealed that Gibson had also apparently fabricated her stories of cancer, and lied about her age as well as other details of her personal life and history. Concerns were expressed that Gibson had led a profligate lifestyle, renting an upmarket town house, leasing a luxury car and office space, undergoing cosmetic dental procedures, purchasing designer clothes and holidaying internationally, on money claimed to have been raised or destined for charity.
Mainstream media were increasingly reporting specified fraudulent claims by Gibson and The Whole Pantry regarding charity fundraising and donation-making, and detailed the many inconsistencies in Gibson’s claimed medical history. With a collapsing social media support base, in an April 2015 interview Gibson admitted that her claims of cancers had been fabricated, stating that “none of it’s true”.

There She Is, Miss I Don’t Really Have Cancer

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.”

How Do You Like Your Eggs? Lies, Shambles Or Vaporized?

Another person has been caught faking cancer. This time it’s a 31-year-old Australian woman named Elizabeth Edmunds.

People were told the 31-year-old had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer in April and that by September it had spread to her lungs.
But last week the alleged scam unravelled when family and friends learned “Elle” never had cancer.
A man purporting to be the woman’s defacto partner revealed on the Facebook page documenting Elizabeth’s struggle that he had been duped as well.
“She has never had cancer,” he wrote.
Police said they were investigating the alleged scam but no charges had been laid yet.
Yesterday in Belmont, the Lake Macquarie woman believed to have benefited from the thousands of dollars raised was asked to explain her actions. She replied: “I’ve got extremely serious mental health issues.”
In her apparent struggle against the disease — detailed online — she shaved her head and posted on Facebook about dreaming of her funeral.
However, one of her supporters claimed on the social media site Edmunds refused to let anyone go with her on her “chemotherapy” treatments. “She made everyone … believe it. She made us do everything for her and if we didn’t she would guilt trip us saying we didn’t care she had cancer,” she wrote.

I don’t like to wish mental health problems on anyone, but I hope she’s being honest about hers. They’re basically all that stands between her and being an evil con artist. Hopefully she can get whatever help she needs.

You Want To Meet Mickey Mouse, Don’t You? Well Then, You Have Cancer

Pretending you have cancer in order to gain money/attention/sympathy/all of the above for yourself is pretty well beyond awful, but there’s got to be a special place in whatever passes for hell for somebody who fakes it on behalf of her small child.

A Colorado woman who allegedly convinced her young son he had cancer is accused of scamming more than $25,000 out of her family and the local community.

Sandy Nguyen, 28, was arrested Thursday. She allegedly told her 6-year-old son — along with the community — that he was diagnosed with cancer in September, 2012, 9 News reports.

Money collected by Nguyen through school fundraisers and other donations was used to finance a trip to Disneyland.

She’s now facing one felony count each of theft and criminal impersonation.

And it’s not just her. Apparently this is becoming a bit of a thing.

Just last year there were two other reported cases of mothers who convinced their children they had cancer.

In August of last year, 31-year-old Emily Creno allegedly told her 4-year-old son he was going to die, and subjected him to numerous, unnecessary medical tests in the hoax.

In September of last year, 32-year-old mother of seven, Stephanie Weddle, was accused of scamming $2,000 in donations after telling people her child was dying of cancer. She is accused of using the money for minor purchases, including buying gas for her car.

Sure I Have Cancer. Just Ask Me…I Mean My Doctor

Here’s a case of fake cancer with a twist. The twist, as you may have assumed given what site you’re on, is that it was executed poorly.

An unidentified 46-year-old Swedish woman, citing a fear of what prison life would be like, forged herself up a medical certificate stating that she was suffering from terminal cancer in the hopes that it would help her avoid going to jail. If all she had to do was get one over on the prison service, she might have pulled it off. But unfortunately for her she also had to get past the social insurance people, and that didn’t go so well.

While officials at the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården) were fooled by the ruse, the Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) was less gullible, noting that the certificate looked old and as if someone had tampered with the contents.

Under interrogation, doctors revealed that the note was poorly written.

“You don’t write that someone has three-to-six months to live and you don’t use the words ‘sick with cancer’ (‘cancersjuk’),” one doctor explained, according to the Metro newspaper.

For her effort, the woman earned an extra two months to find out what prison life would be like.

So what was she going to jail for in the first place, you may be asking yourself. That would be aggravated fraud, my friends. Yes, aggravated fraud.

She claims to have never been to jail before, which either makes this fraud stuff a new thing for her or a poor reflection on Swedish investigators and office workers.

Why People Fake Cancer Online

Here’s a really good, long article I just read that gives some pretty interesting insight into the reasons that people feel the need to fake cancer and other illnesses, especially online. It focuses on something called Munchausen syndrome by internet, which some medical professionals are trying to get officially recognized as a disorder alongside the classic Munchausen syndrome and Munchausen syndrome by proxy. The Lying Disease
Why Would Someone Want to Fake a Serious Illness on the Internet?

“What we’re seeing is people spending just 15 minutes researching an illness on Wikipedia and then jumping from support group to support group online,” Feldman says.
Think of it: You’re anonymous—you can manifest any symptoms you want, like puking pints of blood, without having to actually puke pints of blood. And instead of being examined by the trained eyes of a doctor, you’re welcomed unconditionally by flocks of people who stand on-call, ready to shower you with attention and emotional support 24 hours a day. For weeks or months or years, you can live out your deception without the fear of having your lies challenged in person. And if someone does eventually doubt your story, you can simply log out. Change your name or your illness. Find a fresh group of sympathizers.
This accessibility makes Munchausen by internet “way, way more common than Munchausen ever was or could have been,” Dr. Feldman says. “Unfortunately, a lot of therapists have no clue what Munchausen is, let alone Munchausen by internet.”
Which is dangerous, not only for the sufferers who feed their very real psychological illnesses online, but for the people they prey on. People who seek virtual companionship because their immune systems are truly shot, their days are truly numbered, and they’re desperate to pour their trust, love, and dwindling energy into the few people out there—people they can’t otherwise reach—who know exactly what they’re going through. It’s these people, who are already battling the betrayal of their bodies, whose worlds have essentially been reduced to bedrooms and hospital rooms, that Munchausen by internet hurts the most.

Goin’ To The Chapel And We’re…Gonna Pretend I’m Dying Of Acute Leukemia

The I’m going to fake having cancer in order to take advantage of humanity’s kindness for personal gain train shows no signs of slowing down.

Meet 25-year-old Jessica Vega.

A couple of years ago, she was set to marry Michael O’Connell. But this was no ordinary wedding. It was special because Vega was tragically suffering from acute leukemia and really wanted to get the ceremony in before she died…or so she said. She ended up with thousands of dollars in generously donated money and services, and even took a honeymoon in Aruba.

A few months later however, the plan started to unravel.

Whether O’Connell just doesn’t appreciate free wedding gifts, wanted to get even with Vega for something or simply decided to do the right thing is unclear, but 4 months later, he went to a local newspaper and accused her of faking the whole terminal illness deal.

Then it really gets fun.

After a divorce, he moved to Virginia, but the pair later reunited and now have a second child.

“She’s a good mom, and that’s all that counts at the end of the day,” O’Connell tells the newspaper. “I want my kids to have their mother back.”

He says Vega, who was arrested last week and pleaded not guilty, should repay donors and apologize, but that mental health treatment is a better option than jail.

Being a good mom is all that counts at the end of the day? I realize this guy just wants his family back, but let us please get serious here. Maybe she’s a good mom, maybe she’s not. If she needs mental health treatment and had no problem fleecing the townsfolk out of a fortune in cash and prizes I tend to have my doubts, but perhaps he would know better. And yeah, some therapy does sound like a good idea, but she’s not the only one who needs it if this please don’t send her to jail thing is being said with a straight face. What she needs is both. Whether they happen at the same time doesn’t really matter. She’s not insane, so she can serve a sentence and then get whatever help is required. What would be insane is not sending her to jail as you would anybody else. She did commit a crime, and at the end of the day, that also counts.

Will She Claim She Only Pretended To Take That Stuff From The Store Without Paying?

If you’ve been wondering what Ashley Kirilow has been doing since her sentencing, there’s an update. If you were hoping it was one filled with good news and happy tales of a woman who has turned her life around, my apologies.

She’s done with cancer faking hopefully forever, but her and the legal system have another date with each other thanks to a little shoplifting she’s accused of doing in Hamilton. She was arrested earlier this month and has been in jail since the 7th. Her bail hearing was scheduled for today, but there’s no news on how it went.

For a change, I have nothing mean or funny to say. This is just sad.

Douglas Archie Clark, Defrauding People Left, Left, Left Right Left

Remember Douglas Archie Clark? That fake war veteran who also had fake cancer? Well, he’s been at it again. And after they rearrested him because he didn’t show up for his July court appearance, wasn’t sticking to his release conditions, and was ripping more people off, they released him…again, with more release conditions. Yeah, because the last time they released him it went so well.

Wanna bet he does this a third time?