Mom Tells Her Young Son He Has Cancer -- When He Doesn't (VIDEO)

Twisted 10

A mother has been arrested after allegedly pretending that her child has cancer and trying to cash in. New Jersey mom of four Susan Stillwaggon allegedly told friends, family, even her young son himself that the boy had cancer and was dying. She then sat back and watched the community rally round to raise funds for his nonexistent medical expenses.

Stillwaggon reportedly told people that her son had a form of lymphoma, a deadly cancer, and a neighbor said that the mom was going around saying her son had colon cancer. Police say that the town was holding fundraisers for the boy, who is in elementary school, by baking cupcakes, selling bracelets, and having bingo nights.

The mom had even told people on Facebook that her son had cancer. In fact, she reportedly told her SON that he had cancer!

It's bad enough to use cancer to try and get sympathy and collect money with such a depraved scheme -- but to convince your own child he has cancer?! What?!

The son was in elementary school, so by that age, he probably knew enough about cancer to know that it could kill him. He was probably scared. "He must be very confused," said a neighbor, astonished to find out that the mother was lying about her son's "colon cancer." (Mom didn't research her cancers very well -- the odds of a school age child getting colon cancer are virtually nil.)

The twisted facts came to light after police got an anonymous tip and also a call from the boy's school, which also suspected that his sickness wasn't real.

A reporter who went to Stillwaggon's house met someone claiming to be her mother, who told the reporter that Stillwaggon was in a psychiatric facility and that her daughter "is sick, something snapped in her head."

Sure, the woman might be mentally ill, she might have Munchausen by proxy syndrome, in which primary caretakers exaggerate or fabricate their children's illnesses. I mean, it seems we hear about a story like this every month. Or she might just be in it for cash! That happens too. Stillwaggon is being charged with fraud, child endangerment, and a few other things. Police aren't saying how much money she accepted from good-hearted and duped friends.

But I don't know how you can tell your child that he's ill when he's not. How you can put him through that fear and worry. Most moms spend the majority of their time trying to make the world better for their kids, trying to downplay all of the evil that goes on, trying to smooth everything over for them. And then you have someone like this, who does the exact opposite.

Heartbreaking and baffling. I hope this child can recover from what is, essentially, a huge betrayal of trust. How will this child ever believe what he's told ever again?

Why do you think a mom would do this?


Image via CBS Philly

in the news, child abuse


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

ollie... olliespunkma

Probally scared the crap out of him people are sick

Sierr... SierraLynn

That is so terrible. I dont understand how people can do this type of thing, its even happend in my own family. My cousins ex wife was like this. She not only fabricated their youngest illnesses but actually did things TO make her sick. It was awful. At one point the baby (she was about just about 2) was in the hospital. She would go from getting better, to horrible in the matter of a day or so on and off. It was a mystery to the doctors for a while until they started to notice a pattern. They banned the mother from seeing the girl for a week, and only allowing the dad (my cousin) to see her. Within a few days she was off her feeding tube and starting to eat normal foods. It was found that the mom would contaminateher feeding tube with fecal matter. ='(  I dont exactly know what all that had happened prior to that since I was in basic training at that time and didnt really ask about updates. They divorced and she lost any type of custody. She sees their girls once a week for 2 hours supervised. And the baby girls just turned 6 last week and doing great!

LostS... LostSoul88

Because she wanted money, that's why. She wanted money and for people to feel bad for her. She shouldn't be allowed around her child(ren) ever again. Who knows what she might do, she might purposely poison next time so she can show her child(ren) is sick 

Rosas... RosasMummy

the fact that she actually told

The boy he was ill makes me think it was muncjausen. If it was just for cash I think she would have been more likely to say she herself had cancer

KynWi... KynWillsMomma

It's a psychological condition called munch house n bi proxy (I spelled it how it sounds)... Parents/care givers cause injury/illness to their children because they themselves want sympathy and to be felt sorry for..

schlis schlis

Are we sure she didn't really believe he had this? People try to diagnose themselves and family using google all the time. I've managed to scare myself a few times... When my daughter's cord stump fell off there was a huge white growth underneath. I was convinced she had some terrible cancer. It was a saturday night, so I had to wait till monday to go to the dr and have him tell me if was perfectly normal. I worried myself sick. Maybe this lady just diagnosed him herself and didn't take him to the dr yet because of a lack of money. I don't think we should jump to the worst possible conclusion.

Venae Venae

Really schlis?  Once some of the money came in, did she take him to the doctor?  No.  She needs to see a doctor now - one who will tie her tubes.  Then they need to put her in jail and never let her see any of her kids again.


Joe Ann Kos Storm

I can not even believe people would do this kind of thing.  My son has cancer.  He was diagnosed at 2 and a half and has treatment until he is 6 years old.  It is a horrible nightmare in which you do not get to wake up from.  We are very bessed because my son has ALL Leukemia which is treatable and curable but not without a three year battle first.  How dare anyone fake this.  If they had to live this life for one moment they would wish it would all just go away.  But it doesnt just go away.  I really hope this woman does some serious jail time.  The courts need to start making more severe punishment for people who do these disturbing things.  She needs some help and her son needs the love he deserves!!!!

Nicole Gibbs

This lady should have her kids taken away from her. She is just a stupid ass bitch with absolutely no heart to do something like that to her child. What is wrong with people these days? If I ever ran into that bitch I would spit in her face. The stupid bitch. WTF.

1-10 of 10 comments