Tags: belle gibson | cancer | fake | fundraising | scam

Belle Gibson Cancer Scam? No Record of 'Survivor's' Donations to Charity

By    |   Friday, 13 Mar 2015 10:37 AM

Belle Gibson, an Australian self-proclaimed cancer survivor who created a business promoting healthy recipes, allegedly failed to turn over thousands of dollars in donations she claims she raised for charity, which has sparked an investigation into whether she is actually sick.

Gibson, 26, became a social media star in 2013 with her story of survival. After being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 2009, Gibson says she eschewed traditional treatment in favor of alternative self-healing via a change in diet and lifestyle. She went on to launch The Whole Pantry, a food and health app, and also published a cookbook that will soon hit shelves in the U.S., according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Last year, Gibson claimed she had donated $300,000 to various charities thanks to the sales of her app.

But now her fundraising claims, as well as her diagnosis, are being called intro question by the Australian media and even those close to Gibson.

When confronted with news that the charities in question have received no money from her, Gibson said last week that her company is suffering a "cash-flow" problem, according to the Herald.

The Whole Pantry took to Facebook last week for some damage control, stating that the fundraising problems was a matter of bookkeeping and past media reports on the organization contained false and incomplete information.

"We have, like all start ups, struggled with managing all facets of a new business, biting off more than we could chew, juggling internal and external priorities with little staff," The Whole Pantry statement said. "We have since passed our overdue business records and accounts over to an external Business Manager and Accounts team, an issue we are reassured arises often with overwhelmed new businesses."

But what's more troubling is the fact that Gibson may not actually have cancer.

Five people close to her reportedly came forward and told the media this week that they staged an "intervention" last year in which Gibson admitted her "diagnosis was questionable," the Herald noted.

"I asked her when she got her diagnosis, she said she didn't know," one of the insiders told the newspaper. "I asked her who gave her the diagnosis, she said Dr. Phil. I asked if Dr. Phil had a last name she didn't know, he disappeared. I asked her where she saw Dr. Phil, she said he came and picked [her] up from [her] house."

In her cookbook, released last year in Australia, Gibson wrote that she had been "stable for two years now with no growth of the cancer." But then she told the media that the disease had spread to her liver and kidneys. Before that, she posted an update on The Whole Pantry's Facebook page saying the cancer had reached her blood, spleen, brain, and uterus, but that post was later deleted.

Doctors unaffiliated with Gibson agree that her story doesn’t add up.

"There is the very occasional case out of many, many thousands that may have a spontaneous regression . . . but I have never seen that," Andrew Kaye, the head of surgery at the University of Melbourne and director of neurosurgery at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, told the Herald. "I wouldn't believe any of this unless I saw the pathology report with my own eyes and the pathology itself."

Gibson has yet to address the discrepancies in her cancer story.

Fans and supporters have begun to turn on the Gibson.

"I bought your app. I bought your cookbook. I read about you in Marie Claire," one fan said, according to The Age. "I watched you on various TV shows. I followed you on Instagram. I rooted for you and felt sad for you when you posted about your cancer spreading. And now I am just appalled."

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Belle Gibson, an Australian self-proclaimed cancer survivor who created a business promoting healthy recipes, allegedly failed to turn over thousands of dollars in donations she claims she raised for charity, which has sparked an investigation into whether she is actually sick.
belle gibson, cancer, fake, fundraising, scam
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2015-37-13
Friday, 13 Mar 2015 10:37 AM
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