Woman, 19, ‘lied about having cancer and tumor to swindle $37,000 from donors’

Girl, 19, ‘lied about having most cancers and tumor to swindle $37,000 from donors’

Madison Russo was arrested after she allegedly faked a most cancers prognosis to boost tens of hundreds of {dollars} on GoFundMe (Picture: Scott County Sheriff’s Workplace/TikTok)

An Iowa girl allegedly faked a most cancers prognosis to get greater than $37,000 in GoFundMe donations, police mentioned.

Madison Russo, a 19-year-old faculty scholar from Eldridge, Iowa, was arrested and charged with theft after she raised tens of hundreds of {dollars} on GoFundMe to battle what they are saying was a fraudulent most cancers prognosis.

Police have been alerted to Russo when paramedics reported inconsistencies in her story.

In response to a narrative printed in a neighborhood newspaper North Scott PressRusso was “identified” with stage 2 pancreatic most cancers in late 2021. Russo claimed her prognosis had an 11% survival price.

Russo’s GoFundMe web page has since been taken down and the web page is providing donors a refund (Picture: GoFundMe)

Within the following months, she claimed she was additionally identified with leukemia after the most cancers moved into her blood. When the unique story was printed in October, Russo mentioned she realized per week in the past that she now had a “football-sized” tumor on her backbone.

The North Scott Press has since added a be aware to the story and printed a follow-up story about her arrest and fraud expenses.

All of the whereas, Russo documented her experiences on social networks, particularly on LinkedIn and TikTok.

Nevertheless, social media sleuths started poking holes in her story and noticing unusual inconsistencies in how her chemotherapy was administered.

Russo claimed she was capable of stop hair loss throughout chemotherapy by utilizing over-the-counter dietary supplements (Picture: TikTok)

“What’s up with the chest port?” requested one consumer who additionally observed that the bandage was all “screwed up”.

One other TikTok consumer observed that she had a gastrostomy tube caught too excessive up her nostril.

Nonetheless others discovered it unusual that she was capable of preserve a excessive GPA in faculty and internship whereas coping with such a severe prognosis. Nonetheless others thought it was unlikely that she would have any bodily unwanted effects from chemotherapy, resembling hair loss.

In a single bizarre TikTok video, Russo claimed that she maintained her hair with over-the-counter merchandise and “simply did not wash it day by day.”

Web sleuths noticed irregularities in how Russo’s chemotherapy medicine have been administered (Picture: TikTok)

Russo was arrested on Jan. 23 and booked into the Scott County Jail. She was held on $10,000 bail, based on court docket information.

In response to her arrest affidavit, investigators seized numerous gadgets from Russo’s residence, together with anti-nausea tablets prescribed to a member of the family, an IV pole and a feeding bag full of cotton swabs.

A GoFundMe web page was created for Russo’s medical bills and picked up donations totaling $37,803.

“GoFundMe has a zero-tolerance coverage for abuse of our platform,” the positioning mentioned. They’re providing a full refund to donors to the Russo web page.

Within the unique North Scott Press article, Russo claimed to have spoken at occasions for the Nationwide Pancreatic Most cancers Basis. She additionally listed her job as a ‘spokesperson’ on her LinkedIn web page. After her arrest, nonetheless, the inspiration rapidly issued a press release denying that that they had been in touch with Russo.

“We will affirm that the person has had no contact with the Nationwide Pancreatic Most cancers Basis and has by no means spoken at any of our occasions,” the group mentioned. “Realizing the monetary toll of most cancers is without doubt one of the causes we’re disheartened once we hear of somebody faking a most cancers prognosis.”

Russo additionally claimed to have spoken about her battle with most cancers at her alma mater, St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa. Pictures printed on it LinkedIn page She seems to verify that she spoke at a minimum of one alumni occasion. reached out to St. Ambrose College for additional remark.

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