Yesterday, Ben was chosen as “Brave Patient of the Day” by a FaceBook page called “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” an organization who brings healing through the arts. They put his picture up on their site for the day and we got some new followers/prayer warriors/friends. But the best thing to come out of it was a sweet girl named Kristyn who reported some shocking news. She said that she saw my son’s picture and noticed that he had a different name. She clicked on his info and learned that this kid that she’s been following for five years – YES, FIVE YEARS – was NOT a little boy named Matty Bear, but a boy named Ben.
Apparently, some pervert who has been following Ben over the last several years has taken it upon themselves to steal his illness. They created this character called “Matty Bear” who has stage IV “Pediatric Cancer”, loves Mario Brothers and video games and has a favorite nurse named Lauren at Denver Children’s Hospital… they’ve been watching us. They’ve even gone so far as to steal posts from my blog and try to make them their own. One of their posts talked about having thyroid cancer and blaming themselves for giving “Matty Bear” cancer… a direct rip-off of one of my posts. They’ve been doing this for years.
Interestingly enough, there are no pictures of Matty Bear on his website or on the two YouTube videos they have posted. They had up to 800 twitter followers, though. The only way I knew what was happening is when this sweet Kristyn forwarded a picture of Ben from 2009 – oh, I mean, Matty Bear – sitting in an infusion chair that I believe my ex-husband had posted on his site at one time or another several years ago.
What would make a person do this? There have been several cases of families shaving their children’s heads and telling people they have cancer just to get the donations. They’ve gone to jail for their disgusting practices. I can only hope that Matty Bear doesn’t exist – that they made up this kid entirely. I wonder if it was for attention? Perhaps. But I bet it was about the money. All I can say is I hope they made enough to cover the shit-storm that’s coming their way. I might not be able to catch you, but the proper authorities have been notified. If you’re not caught for this crime, “Jen,” you better be ready for Karma. Because it will most definitely bite you in your sorry ass.
Let’s not focus on this sorry idiot any longer. Here’s what I’m hoping today’s post will do: RAISE AWARENESS! Don’t just click “LIKE” on every cancer kid’s page you see. Some of them are not legitimate. Some might sing a good song and lure you in, but do a little due diligence. A true cancer mom will not be offended to answer a couple of questions about their kiddo’s treatment. I put my story out there for a reason. This journey has been grueling. It has changed our lives. I’m going to continue writing about it with the depth of emotion that I’ve always used. I do feel violated and angry that someone would be heinous enough to do the unthinkable, but apparently it happens more often than not. In talking with another cancer mom, she said it happened to her, too. But this pervert actually went so far as to create a character who died using images of my friend’s daughter and raised enough money to put their made-up character to rest. SICK. She then told me that it’s happened at one point or another to many of our friends.
I can’t stop other people’s disgustingness. But I’m not going to let them deter me from living MY LIFE. Yes. This is my life. This is my son’s battle. And while I would willingly let this pig have my son’s cancer to enjoy for themselves, it just doesn’t work that way. Cancer is not transferrable. But I’m betting that it will eventually catch up to them. In some way or another.