Thanks to the efforts of a few concerned people, it has been uncovered that Warrior Eli is a hoax. A sickening, horrible, disgusting hoax that conned thousands of people across the world into believing a little boy had cancer and that his mother died. Many reputable organizations were deceived into believing the story was real. People like Battle4aCure, Little Fighters Cancer Trust, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation among others. It is all the work of a disturbed young woman in North America. Full details are here: http://warriorelihoax.wordpress.com/
The thing that upsets me most of all is that this sick person used something as heartbreaking as childhood cancer to manipulate people into believing the hoax. We all have our secret fears. Mine is childhood cancer. I am terrified about it, I worry about it more than I should, so this hit very close to home. More than the stolen images of my children, it was the fact that this woman used childhood cancer to manipulate people that really upset me.
Besides the photos of my chilidren (there are over 50 stolen images of my children), this disturbed woman stole the identity of a little boy and his mother, a little boy who really did have cancer. His mother was eventually contacted yesterday and posted a comment on my blog today:
"I'm saddened (and sickened) that somebody used my photos and the photos of my son to spout those stories over the weekend (as part of the "Warrior Eli" scam), much as they appear to have done with your photos. What is WRONG with people? THAT's ME (in the picture on Facebook), but I'm not dead... my son's not dead. He's healthy and happy. He did have cancer, but he's been in remission (I'm so thankful). BUT, they did more than "just" lie! When those people use the stories of REAL kids (OUR KIDS) as part of scams, it makes it harder to raise money for our REAL kids who need it. I've never been afraid to tell my son's story. I've told anyone who would listen, and even those who turn away. I'm not ashamed of my little boy; I'm so proud of what a strong little man he's become (he has conquered cancer, and he's the most amazing kid any mother could hope for). But, now, I understand why there are those who keep the stories (and the images) of their kids private and let their stories remain unsaid. When someone can tear at the very core of what he has gone through--turn it into something so wrong... play on emotions... How many people cried when they heard/read the story of the kid with cancer and the mother who was killed in a car crash right before mother's day? Well, I'm upset... but it also makes me all the more determined. It's not play. I look at the pictures that they stole, and I remember the moments that those images represent. My little boy almost died. The cancer kept coming back. I wouldn't wish that (any of it) on my worst enemy. And, yet, somebody tried to claim that the pain could EVER be theirs. Ironically, while this person was spreading all their lies, my son and I were hanging out with the most amazing group of people, who were all raising money to let another kid have a wish come true (Make-a-Wish New Mexico). It's my wish that this horrible episode will be turned into something positive."
To everyone who was taken in by this hoax, please don't let it stop you from reaching out to people who really do need your love and support. Don't let one sick individual ruin it for everyone.
To the young woman who did this: You need help, I urge you to seek professional help. Before you harm anyone else, before you harm yourself.
I am glad it over.