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I have shared your blog to help raise awareness. It is sickening. I personally faced a dilemma about my own privacy when unwanted people from the past started cyber stalking my family.

I was duped as well. Back in Sep 2010 I took the time to make a prayer video for Eli as I have done for hundreds of kids dying from cancer. Its sickens me to find out that people are willing to lie and to play with your raw emotions. Get a life people, get a life.


That's an absolute disgrace. What kind of sick person pulls stunts like that? Bad enough stealing your photos but to steal the photos of someone's sick child/family to create a scam is absolutely despicable. They deserve to be put away for a LONG time.

I love how in the conversation someone had with this girl-posing-as-the-dad, she tried to say other people had been stealing "his" photos of the kids.

Very very disturbed young lady :/


if your images have been used, maybe you should do something about it and contact the FBI.

This is disgusting and horrible. There are REAL greiving and concerned paretns who actually have to live this with their kids & someone creates this elaborate tangled web of lies and have people emotionally get involved. SHAME ON YOU SICKO!

i was friends with JS for 4 years. "he" and i started talking when i was 13, right after i was diagnosed with crohn's disease, and became my online big brother. i am absolutely disgusted that this is who i was friends with all these years.
im so sorry that this woman did this to your family, and to many other families around the world.

I am another one of the "Dirr Family's" friends online. Their story touched my heart a few years ago, as it did a LOT of other people.
My name and my face is on one of your screen captures from facebook, I had commented on one of the photos of "Lily & Jude". I feel sick that they were not who I thought they were and that this crazy person was stealing your photos in order to perpetuate this enormous lie.

I am truly sorry that this has happened, even though I had nothing to do with it apart from extending my support and friendship to people I thought needed it.

I think that is what made it all so believable, because of aaaaaalllll the photos, from birth right through to 3 days ago. Constant "mobile uploads" to facebook and the blog (there was a 5- or 6-year-long blog at a site called xanga), all the pictures of the kids after being born, even. This was no small thing ... it was NOT just a few pictures, and not just in the last month or two -- it was YEARS. Apparently, it started at least 7 years ago, possibly even longer. And a huge number of people were duped, thousands of people. So far, this one young woman had over 60 profiles on facebook, all to keep the lies going, to make comments and be the extended family of the original fictional family.

This woman is a real sicko...What I seriously suspect is that the attention for supposedly having a child with cancer in remission was no longer enough… So she made up the latest incidence of cancer with “Eli”. But then I think that she decided to amp it up a bit because there is only so much attention that can get, especially once she/he was so far into groups of parents with kids with cancer, because they’re ALL in the same boat. … So the messages & prayers were not enough with the latest cancer/chemo, so she made up the JS almost-dying, and got *such* a high off of aaaaallllll the messages & prayers, and emails and shares on facebook that she just couldn’t NOT have it. So she invented the drunk semi-driver accident plus the kid broken arm as a double-whammy…then when that died down, quite quickly, she just couldn’t stand it. She neeeeeeeeded it, like heroin, just HAD to have it, so she had to do Dana in.

I wish I could apologise to the mother whose child was the real boy who had battled cancer. I am REALLY glad that you were in touch with her, and I am really really happy to see that he conquered his cancer! I hope she knows that many people had true feelings of love for him while he was fighting (although, it was probably quite a while afterwards).

I wrote to a friend who was also friends with this fictional family, when it was all first coming to light the other day, she is an old school chum who had shared her own battle with breast cancer with them ... I said, "I have wasted so much time & energy on these people!" and she said, "You truly haven't though because you can be certain that someone on their list felt love and support from you and in some way, the love you sent to this pretend family and for cancer patients did help someone, so nothing was wasted. Someone who needed it and deserved it gained from what you gave away. It is never a waste to give your love away."
I hope that is true.

Thank you for posting about this theft of your photos, and the update. It was a huge thing, this hoax, and I hope that nobody has been hurt in a tangible way. I can say this -- your kids are adorable, those smiles definitely will make the world a better place! Thanks again!

I've spent the better part of today reading this expose and I'm absolutely horrified.

It is so sad that there are people out there that feel their lives are not good enough, so need to create a whole new other life and characters to support it.

It's also quite admirable how much time, money and effort went into this on Emily's part. Wow.

Apparently, I live in a cave. I am stupefied by this.

I'm also filled with pity that anyone could be this lonely that they have to create a world for themselves.

My jaw hurts from dangling open.

Just wow.

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