Ashley Kirilow, a 23-year-old Canadian woman, was known as a plucky survivor. Despite being diagnosed with breast, ovarian, brain, and liver cancers, she valiantly fought the diseases and raised money for herself and others over the past year.
Last October Kirilow and her supporters started a charity called Change for a Cure, which asked people to donate their spare change so she could donate the money to the University of Alberta for cancer research. She also opened Facebook and Twitter accounts for the organization, whose slogan is "Together we can change the world one penny at a time." Fundraisers were held for her, and a Toronto charity flew terminally ill Ashley to Disney World as her dying wish. Altogether over $20,000 was raised for her.
Earlier this week Ashley admitted that she never had cancer. She had shaved her head and eyebrows to fake the signs of chemotherapy, and had spent much of the money given to her on personal expenses. She was arrested
and has been charged with four counts of fraud. While a few of her friends and supporters have cast her as a victim who deserves sympathy, most have written on blogs and Facebook about their feelings of betrayal. Many had supported Ashley because they, too, were dealing with cancer and had shared their personal stories with a person who had lied to them from the start.