I Am So Angry, Frightened and Disgusted!

6 Aug

On a conference call this morning, a friend, from Burlington, Ontario, told me about a case that recently broke there, of a girl who defrauded many people, by claiming to be dying from four or five different types of cancer. My first emotion was anger, because this is one of the lowest forms of trickery I can imagine. Playing upon people’s emotions, garnering pity where none is due… I think there’s a special corner of Hell reserved for people like that. Preferably between the sexual predators and the drug dealers.

Enter, emotion #2 – fear. It dawned on me that news like this could have an immediate negative effect on the fund-raising efforts on Rachel Hunnicutt-Knight’s behalf. Rachel’s case, unlike the Burlington case, is real, and documented. And Rachel doesn’t ask for anyone’s pity… she radiates strength. But people that read about a fraud such as occurred in Burlington will now be more wary, more skeptical. They’ll be less likely to trust that a donation will go toward what is promised, and understandably so. If they’re one of the unfortunates that were duped by the Burlington case (check out the Burlington case’s fraudulent Facebook page), they’ve been burned once, at a very personal level, and will be unlikely to make themselves vulnerable again.

So, future donations will probably be at a lower level, because of that case. That means that fewer real victims will receive the help they need. It’s not inconceivable that some of the money that went to Burlington, might have saved a live, had it gone elsewhere. It’s not a major reach, to think that some future victim will NOT be saved, because a key donation won’t be made. The implications go on and on.

So I asked my friend to send me info on the case, thinking that I might be able to lessen any possible impact on Rachel’s fund-drive, by discussing it here. He did, and I read what the papers had to say.

Then my third emotion kicked in… disgust. This sick individual in Burlington claims to have been “caught up” in the whole thing. I call, “Bullshit!” The cold, calculating, and very detailed presentation of her so-called “condition”, prove that it was the contributors that were caught up!

For any of you that lean toward the skeptical side, I can only say that you’re probably wise. The fact that such a scam can occur, and rope in so many people who just wanted to help someone, indicates that skepticism is advisable.

For those of you that blindly cast donations in all directions, I only hope that you’ll be fortunate, and never encounter such a ruse as described in the below articles.

For those of you that may find yourself wavering… I can offer you very little. In terms of the reality of Rachel Hunnicutt-Knight’s situation, it is true. I can say that because I know. I know the people involved. I know their next-door neighbors. And I’m usually as skeptical as they come, believe me. I know my word may not mean much to most of you. I hope it does, for Rachel’s sake. And I know that there are others involved in Rachel’s support circle that are known to have integrity, so their word should carry some weight, too.

When it comes right down to it, each of us has to be smart enough to consider all possibilities, and then decide where our heart and mind should lead us. I would caution you all, not to be blind, but also, not to be blindly cynical. There’s a balance to be found, and straying too far in either direction will either make YOU a victim, or will deprive a real victim of the needed assistance.

Here’s some news coverage of the Burlington case. I urge you to read it.

http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/821169

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/844614–woman-faked-cancer-to-raise-money?bn=1

 

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10 Responses to “I Am So Angry, Frightened and Disgusted!”

  1. Rob Jones August 6, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    Good post Doc. I’ve known of a situation here locally where someone did that and ended up skipping after making money at the expense of not only bilking well-meaning donors… but also at the expense of people like Rachel, who DO have a real need.

    Double damage is done when someone scams like that. The money goes to some buckethead that just wants it for personal gain and is thus NOT going to someone like Rachel that needs it, plus it poisons the well for other donors that otherwise might have contributed.

    Fwiw, I’ve known the Hunnicutts for over a decade, and when Rachel was initially diagnosed at age 14 my wife was one of the first to hear it. It’d be a grievous wrong for her to get tarred with the brush that is used to feather the pricks that bilk people. Rachel’s situation is as real as they get.

    Not sure how to best get that message out there, but I appreciate you putting this up for reference. Grr. How the heck do you combat that kinda stuff?

    Anyone wishing to verify the need on http://www.got-marrow.org is welcome to call me on my cell number and I’ll get them in touch with the family. My number is shown on the site. I dont post the family’s numbers cause I’m pretty sure they have enough on their plate already. ~ Rob

    • Doc August 6, 2010 at 11:12 am #

      Thanks for the verification offer, Rob. This has me seething, as it does many others. Take a look at the recent comments on the fraudulent Facebook page I linked to in the piece. An image of pitchforks and torches comes to mind!

  2. Rachel August 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Sometimes I just have to ask myself, why don’t people take all of the time and energy that it takes to run a scam like that into finding a job. I for one know I would be making more money right now if was still at the job I’ve had for 8 years.

    Even in light of this, I still believe the world is mostly good. The comments on all the websites, and blogs all over the world supporting me, and the donations from people I will never meet remind me of this. I refuse to let a few bad apples spoil the barrel.

    • Doc August 6, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

      Rachel, I ask myself the same question, day after day.

      That said, however, I agree with you that the world is mostly good. We become jaded, fearful, skeptical… even lash out at times, but under it all, most of us have some good, just dying to come to the surface.

      And by happy circumstance, it’s people like you that bring the good out in us!

      Keep smilin’, kid! 😉

  3. david michel August 24, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    people are stupid

    • Doc August 24, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

      Unfortunately, that’s sometimes true. However, the opposite is often true too. So worst case, it should balance out.

  4. Doc August 20, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Appreciate your post, at http://cancer.zeo.hk/help-a-total-stranger/, to make even more folks aware! I hope everyone here stops by to read it, and gives some serious thought to how they can help.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention I Am So Angry, Frightened and Disgusted! « Ramblings of a Madman -- Topsy.com - August 6, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sheldon Campbell, Got-Marrow.org. Got-Marrow.org said: I am PISSED! https://mst3.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/i-am-so-angry-frightened-and-disgusted/ […]

  2. It’s Very Personal « Ramblings of a Madman - August 7, 2010

    […] type of amazement… the troll that left the idiotic comment yesterday, and the moronic girl in yesterday’s post. I consider both of them to be total wastes of space, contributing nothing beyond the carbon […]

  3. Leukemia : : help a total stranger - Cancer Health Center - August 19, 2010

    […] some shifty types you can find on forums. Doc is a rambling madman (his words) and addresses the repercussions of scams on genuine cases. Rob Jones who made the Got-Marrow site isn’t just some fly-by-night-cowboy either. he is a […]

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