Ohio mum Pamela Reed fakes daughter’s cancer battle to rake in $US8000 worth of donations


An Ohio woman has been charged after she falsely claimed her seven-year-old daughter had cancer and raked in thousands of dollars in donations.

Pamela Reed, 41, of Pleasant City, was arrested on Monday and charged with theft by deception, a fourth-degree felony, the Noble County Sheriff’s Office announced in a news release.

The sheriff’s office and the county’s Department of Job and Family Services were notified on January 4 about a local child who had been falsely publicly portrayed to be fighting cancer.

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The sheriff’s department and child services detectives investigated the claims and confirmed the child didn’t have cancer.

“Several local organisations had participated in fundraising efforts and had made monetary contributions to help the family offset medical expenses,” police said.

The investigation found one local organisation had donated $US8000 ($A11,495) to the family to aid with their alleged cancer treatment expenses.

On the Facebook page, the family appeared to post and share updates about the child’s health — sharing photos of the child in hospital and posting about a hog roast fundraiser in October.

Pictures on the page show the child with a shaved head receiving hospital treatment.

US woman Pamela Reed allegedly faked her seven-year-old daughter’s illness, including in social media posts, to solicit donations for medical treatment. Credit: Facebook

Four days after the sheriff’s office was tipped off, it interviewed Reed who “admitted during questioning that she had exaggerated and fabricated medical conditions to receive monetary donations from local organisations”.

Her bond has been set at $50,000. It wasn’t immediately clear whether she has a lawyer.

Sheriff Jason Mackie and Misty Wells, the director of the family services department, said in a statement: “Child abuse and neglect isn’t always cut and dry, cookie-cutter scenarios. If you as a professional or as a member of our community feel like something just isn’t quite right, don’t hesitate, make the report. The grit and devotion of this team is inspiring.”

It isn’t the first time parents have faked children’s illnesses and used well-intentioned donations to fund their own lifestyles.

Perhaps the highest-profile case is that of Gypsy Rose Blanchard who was released from jail last month after serving time over the June 2015 slaying of her mother, Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard — who had abused Gypsy Rose and forced her to fake serious illness.

Gypsy Rose Blanchard testified her mother took her to doctors all her life for various conditions, including leukaemia and muscular dystrophy, and forced her to use a wheelchair and an oxygen tank that she didn’t actually need.

In 2021, also in Ohio, Lindsey Abbuhl was accused of faking her daughter’s terminal illness and raising thousands to fund trips and other expenses. An investigation found there was no evidence to support her child was terminally ill.


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