Another day. Another cancer hoax from an Ohio mom who allegedly claimed her 4-year-old was dying just to bilk people out of their hard-earned dollars. Wasn't it bad enough the first dozen times this happened in America? Do we really need yet another child being victimized by his mother, yet another mother being dragged into the courts to answer for a despicable lie?
Of course, Emily Creno King should answer for her alleged cancer scam. But what do these crimes do to society, to the people out there who are truly struggling?
Isn't it hard enough fundraising without scammers?
For years I shaved my head annually for St. Baldrick's, a legitimate charity that raises money for children with cancer. Year after year, I'd solicit donations, and year after year, it got harder to reach my goal. People just don't have extra money lying around, not in this economy.
And yet, when bad things happen to good people, they try. They open their wallets up and pull out a $20 for that little kid with cancer, for that father of four undergoing radiation. Despite the horror stories we read daily in the news, there are a lot of good people out there who would give you the shirts off their backs.
But then there are moms like this.
There are people who know that people are inherently good and who look for ways to work that to their advantage.
The result is a cancer scam that hurts a little boy -- 4-year-old JJ thought he was going to die because of the things his mother had allegedly done to him including forced medications, frequent visits to hospitals, and shaving his head -- and hurts a community as a whole.
There is a domino effect when people are burned by fundraising hoaxes like this. They stop donating out of fear that it will happen again.
Who can blame them? I don't want to give my hard earned cash to someone who is abusing my trust.
The trouble is, this leaves the people who truly need it with nowhere to turn. They are struggling in a bad economy with the typical health insurance issues, and they need help that won't come because someone else abused the system and used their innocent child to do it.
Emily Creno King is facing a third-degree felony charge for child endangerment, and cops are investigating claims that she took money and gifts from people across the country.
Could the punishment include some sort of community service to the very people screwed by scams like this?
Do you donate to private people in need? What stops you?
Image via Utica Police