The Evil Among us: Fake Cancer Scammers

The Evil Among us: Fake Cancer Scammers

Have you noticed your socials feeds are riddled with heart wrenching appeals for clicks and support, and more critically, money? I know mine are, and they are relentless. The stories are indeed tragic. Sick babies, burnt out homes, devastating injuries and cancer. So much cancer. There are also appeals for blood donation, hospitals, animal shelters and various charities. Lots of need, and limited funds. These appeals are particularly compelling when they come from a local source, or for issues that touch our own situations.┬áPeople who have big hearts donate generously because essentially humans are decent. We understand that it could be any of us, at any time and we need to spread the love around. Passing the hat to help people who have fallen on hard times or are ill, is one of the most humane and selfless acts of generosity. Now, it is even easier to donate to causes we care about with on-line giving. A few clicks and you have saved a kitten or contributed to some kid’s bone marrow transplant. Whatever you care about, you can help in a New York minute with a donation sent through the web. And therein lies the problem. Any jackass can come up with an appeal for funding on any issue. However for some reason cancer seems to be the trigger that gets people giving and makes them easy marks. The good and compassionate people on Facebook or wherever click away their money only to hear that the person they funded isn’t actually sick, or doesn’t even exist.Or worse, they never know they were taken for a rube. There was a story sometime back about a woman who was pretty damned gutsy about her scam. She convinced people at her workplace that she had cancer, and was “pushing through it” and coming to work. She even shaved her head (talk about commitment). Her co-workers set up a fund for her, they created on line appeals and even held fundraising events for her expenses. She never had cancer. She didn’t have so much as the bloody sniffles. Her main diagnosis is that she is a scumbag with no moral fiber. It was good to read that she was eventually charged for fraud, but those kindly donors were out their money, and likely a little piece of their souls too. Another impact of this sort of story is that people become mistrustful and miserly when they are asked for help again. So the genuine tragedies that happen to good people are at risk of being viewed with a nasty skepticism because of a few terrible humans. As a cancer warrior myself, I become apoplectic when I hear about these charlatans whose only...
In Sickness and in Health

In Sickness and in Health

Every June we celebrate Father’s Day. To be fair, we Moms get a whole lot more fussing on our day in May than the Dads do. I hate to admit it, but I am always grateful that the kids’ teachers would make sure there was a card or crafty thing for Dad because I have been known to forget. My husband and I aren’t greeting card people anyway. Our traditions don’t involve shmoopy mandatory cards, in fact we don’t follow the rules of magazine marriages and groove more to our own beat. For instance, we prefer to save for vacations and not go for expensive date night dinners. Out of necessity, a trip to Costco without the kids is what we call a date these days. We don’t exchange jewelry, or do couples massages at the spa, hell we don’t even stay up on New Year’s Eve anymore. We are knee deep in busy kids and being middle aged. We have earned our naps, and dammit, we will take those naps. The one rule we do follow is an important vow from our wedding. Among the promises we made that day was that we would be there for each other in sickness and in health. At the time, we pictured the sickness part coming way the hell later than the health part. We had visions of sickness looking like elderly me helping geriatric him with his cane, or to find his teeth every day because he was forgetting where he put them. “In the glass on the bathroom counter honey”, I pictured myself saying. We knew realistically that humans start to fall apart as we age and in our declining years we would need to be strong for each other when illness came calling. What we didn’t know is how little time we would have between “I do” and cancer. It is me. I have cancer, and it is a bad one. My husband and the Father of our children had to make good on his promise to be there for me when it got hard. Really hard. And because we aren’t celebrating “Husband Day” (although that should be a thing) this post is about my kids’ Dad. When I was diagnosed, he must have felt like he was suddenly crushed by a falling brick wall. I am not sure how he felt at first, because his initial response was that he would take the cancer on himself if he could wish it to be so. He was terrified for me, and our kids. Others might have shunted aside their vow and succumbed to their fears and bolted. He did not. Every single day since cancer came to fuck...