In this day and age, it's all too easy to be cynical. And unfortunately, we often have good reason to be. But Thomas Doty's family couldn't afford to be cynical. Watching their almost 20-year-old son slowly die of cancer, the one thing they needed desperately was hope. So when a strange woman by the name of Jonnica Ellis offered to donate a quarter of a million dollars to help treat Thomas, well, his family chose faith instead of doubt. Ellis claimed to be a nurse, after all. And she really seemed to care.
So the Doty family delayed treatment, waiting for the funds Ellis had promised. Except the money never showed up, and Thomas died shortly after his 20th birthday. "When he passed away I had nothing, nothing, nothing to do," said his mother, Tiffany Doty. "I don't know what I'm doing anymore and ... so anything I can do for him and this is something he asked specifically –- was that she not be able to do this to anybody else."
Unfortunately, it gets worse. The Doty family is now being stalked by Ellis. Said Tiffany: "We came home a couple of nights ago and our door was kicked in. Nothing taken … it was just kicked in and I just don't see that that's a coincidence." And Ellis continues to email the family.
The FBI is currently investigating, but the damage, sadly, is done. And we can only hope that other families are spared the same fate.
My grandmother had a saying: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Growing up, this motto struck me as depressing. I wanted, and still want, to believe that there are sincere, genuine people out there who help others out of the goodness of their heart, expecting nothing in return. And I do believe those people exist. But "Jonnica Ellis" is not one of them.
Have you ever heard of someone scamming a terminally ill patient's family?
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