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Burlington woman develops fictional cancer to get attention, Internet grants her wish

A photo from the Change for a Cure Facebook page simply titled "$20.63 :)"

The Internet is like a 21st-century monkey’s paw: sure, it will grant you a wish, just not in the way you think—you never know what innocent googling will result in dirtiness. So when Ashley Anne Kirilow of Burlington decided that an awesome way to get attention (and make some cash) would be to start an innovative charity, she probably didn’t realize what was coming her way. People who felt bad for the young lady who said she had cancer would give her small amounts of money, which is why the charity was called Change for a Cure. Just one problem: Kirilow’s charity, and her cancer, were entirely made up. Donated money went straight into her pockets.

Now, the Internet has turned on her, proving for the second day in a row just how much power it wields.

The Toronto Star reported the story this morning, then Gawker picked it up at about 11:30 a.m. The Facebook page for Kirilow’s fake charity has predictably been the site of much venting. The Internet has reacted in its usual calm, sedate fashion:

• Meg Fenway Black:  you are a DISGUSTING human being. You have done nothing but DISCREDIT all young people that work hard to raise money for charities. It is hard enough as a young person to be taken seriously when trying to raise money for important cause. Now with what you have done…

• Emily Swift: you are sooo ignorate!!!! my dad has cancer!! and for yu too “FAKE” yu have cancer is soo discusting!!!

• Supernintendo Chalmers: i hope she gets slapped by a bullet from a gun

• Cameron Moore: this is the funniest thing that has ever happened, shes my hero

• Brian Jacklin: You finally got the attention you craved . But, is it the kind you wanted? Didn’t think so you no good brat. Good riddance.

We pinky swear that we didn’t make up any of those comments, or the copious misspellings that went with them (it’s the Internet, we didn’t have to). Kirilow seems to have disappeared but even her parents (in her lying, she claimed her parents were junkies that abandoned her) say they hope she’s caught and punished, so this probably won’t be the last anyone hears of her. Which is a shame, because attention was what she sought, meaning she sort of won in the end—though it probably wasn’t police attention that she had in mind.

• Woman faked cancer to raise money [Toronto Star]
• The Elaborate, Lucrative Cancer Lie of Ashley Kirilow [Gawker]
• ”Change” For a Cure [Facebook]

  • SML

    I went to school with Ashley. I wasn’t close with her but I’m not shocked at all. I feel for all our classmates who helped her out so much

  • Nikki

    “i hope she gets slapped by a bullet from a gun” ??

    I know we have free speech, but this is frightening.

 

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