South Lyon woman accused of faking stage 4 breast cancer to raise nearly $32,000

Police say 400 people donated to woman's GoFundMe page

SOUTH LYON, Mich. – Heartbreak and empathy have turned into anger in South Lyon as a woman is accused of lying about having stage 4 breast cancer to raise money.

Bright police said a woman who gained the support of her community likely lied about having cancer. They're now seeking charges against her.

Parents trying to find child care, or perhaps a nanny, usually do plenty of research about the person they hire, because that person often becomes a part of the family.

But in a neighborhood in South Lyon, a nanny was hired and told her employer she had stage 4 breast cancer that she couldn't afford to treat.

Empathetic and supportive community members set the wheels went in motion. Aubree's Pizzeria, in South Lyon, hosted a fundraiser last summer and a GoFundMe page raised nearly $32,000.

Bright police said 400 people donated to the GoFundMe page.

A criminal investigation started when the hospital named on the page didn't recognize the patient.

The woman had many friends in a children's play group, and they ran the fundraiser. They said they were angry and saddened by the lie.

"We were recently informed that our 'friend' lied for several years about struggling with stage four breast cancer," the organization said in a statement. "We let her into our homes, our families and our checkbooks. We had no prior knowledge of her deceit and are fully cooperating with the investigaiton. We sincerely hope she gets the help she so desperately needs."

Here is the full statement from GoFundMe:

"Our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds donations are misused, donors are fully protected and will get their money back. Additionally, it’s important to remember that misuse is extremely rare on our platform. Campaigns with misuse make up less than one-tenth of one percent of all campaigns. With that said, there are unfortunate and rare instances where people create campaigns with the intention to take advantage of others’ generosity. In the small handful of cases where misuse occurs, GoFundMe takes action to resolve the issue. In this case, the user has been banned, and we are working with law enforcement officials to ensure donors are refunded."

Here is the full statement from the hospital:

"Saint Joseph Mercy Health System became aware of media coverage featuring an individual who was misrepresenting medical treatment received at one of our health care facilities in order to request financial donations. The hospital did alert the Livingston County Sheriff's Department to potentially inaccurate information about treatment, and cooperated with local law enforcement in their investigation of the matter as permitted by applicable privacy laws and regulations."

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