Faking a Fatal Disease to Travel
S ome people search for discounts for trips they otherwise cannot afford. Some people use their frequent flier loyalty program miles. Some people turn to Internet web sites which engage a technique called crowdsourcing where people donate money. Some people even enter sweepstakes and contests and — on rare occasions — actually win a trip…
Faking a Fatal Disease to Travel
…but Mary A. Bennett apparently tugged on the heartstrings of anyone who would listen and donate money to her to secure travel to such places as New Orleans, Houston and Biloxi, as the woman — who is 29 years of age and a licensed practical nurse based in Forsyth County in Georgia — allegedly was faking a fatal disease to travel and engage in such experiences as hot air balloon rides, a fishing excursion in the Gulf of Mexico, watching a professional baseball game, and skydiving.
Ovarian Cancer Statistics
That fatal disease was stage IV ovarian cancer — a disease she did not have. Ovarian cancer accounts for approximately three percent of cancers among women, according to the American Cancer Society; but it causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system.
The estimates for 2015 by the American Cancer Society were that approximately 21,290 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer in the United States; while approximately 14,180 women will die from the disease. Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system — yet the risk of a woman getting ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 75; while her lifetime chance of dying from ovarian cancer is about 1 in 100. The rate at which women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer has been slowly falling over the past 20 years.
Mary Bennett was statistically not a candidate for ovarian cancer, which mainly develops in older women. Approximately half of the women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 63 years of age or older.
Value of Freebies Received From the Generosity of Others
The total value of the donations — including approximately $4,000.00 raised from a spaghetti dinner in her honor — free trips and gifts she received is estimated to be worth $25,000.00.
“She fed off the kindheartedness of the people in this community,” Epi Rodriguez — a deputy of the Sheriff’s Office of Forsyth County — said, according to this article written by Tyler Estep of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. “She was going to the hospital and was not actually having procedures. She would have people take her, but she never wanted anyone going in with her.”
Bennett was arrested last month — approximately five years after investigators believe she started faking the disease — and was charged with first-degree forgery and misdemeanor taking. She was released on bond.
As I have mentioned multiple times in past articles, I would very much like to take a trip to Antarctica — specifically, the South Pole — but I would never ever even think of deceiving people by faking a fatal illness to raise funds for the trip. That is blatant fraud — pure and simple.
If what Mary A. Bennett allegedly did — commit a cruel hoax to kind people who genuinely wanted to help her; while simultaneously making a mockery out of a disease from which other women are legitimately suffering — is absolutely confirmed as the truth, she should be punished and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.