The Latest Cancer Epidemic: Cancer Phonies


People with serious mental health disorders become cancer phonies all of the time. And it seems like when they do, they pick lymphoma or leukemia more often than other cancers, but this may just be my perception. Either way, the phonies are on the rise.

Some Recently Undiagnosed Case Studies

In 2010, a woman named Brigid Corcoran shaved her head and claimed she had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, earning about $3,000 and plenty of sympathy. She had no such cancer.

That same year, the despicable Jessica Vega (pictured) faked leukemia in order to fund her wedding and a honeymoon in Aruba.

This past summer, the pathetic U.K. teacher Nicola Lynne Hibberd faked non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for sympathy and some time off.

Then this fall, Kimberly Gustwiller faked non-Hodgkin's for... who-knows-why.

And now we get Vitoria Ann Murat, who according to, has been busted for faking "terminal non-Hodgkin's lymphoma."

Other Cancer Phonies

Of course, not all cancer phonies choose a blood cancer. In 2009, a California police dispatcher named Dannille Vanderpool collected a whopping $50,000 from generous folks to help her cover costs associated with a brain cancer she didn't have. Not only that, she faked the cancer at a time when a police officer she knew actually had brain cancer and was in the stages of dying from it.

Tennessee math teacher Suzy Bass claimed to have stage IV breast cancer. She shaved her head and even said she underwent a failed stem cell transplantation. Of course it was all a lie. did a great write-up on that loser.

And remember Jamie Lynn Toler? This 27-year-old woman was charged with fraud this past year for collecting at least $8,000 to help pay for her breast cancer treatment when in reality the cancer-free woman spent the money on... a boob job.

There was also the young Canadian woman Ashley Anne Kirilow, who claimed to have breast cancer, liver cancer, ovarian cancer and stomach cancer in order to bilk people of tens of thousands of dollars. She enjoyed a 'last wish' trip to Disneyland as well.

Sympathy? I Don't Think So

In this collection of lowlifes, it's tough to say who's the worst of the bunch. Experts suggest these people (it is mostly women who pull these stunts) suffer from a form of Münchausen syndrome currently referred to as Münchausen Syndrome by Internet.

Considering what damage they do to people who genuinely step up to help them out, I can't say I care what condition they claim to have. I'll save my money, energy and effort for people with real cancer diagnoses.

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