In the category of best performance by a lead actress pretending she and her kid both have cancer, the O-snap award goes to ... Melissa D. Barton!
Congrats, Melissa. Your performance had everyone fooled. Well, almost everyone.
Barton’s videos tugged at the heart strings, but one supporter with a little medical knowledge caught on that her treatment claims failed to match her having breast cancer or her kid having leukemia. She was caught after only clearing about $1,300 from online and other fundraising, and her fear that her kids would have to go on without her came true, at least for the 18 months she will be in state prison.
The prison time is a lot for the relatively small amount of money, but then the deterrence is the real objective.
Barton fooled some people, but she created a greater mistrust that will hurt some child who really has leukemia or the efforts of someone wanting to raise money to run in the Susan G. Komen 5K. Cancer treatment is tough, and trying to save your life or that of a loved one can leave you financially devastated. Charity can be a lifeline.
So rather than mistrust and close your wallet, maybe a little personal education is in order. Maybe you shouldn’t use Facebook as a research tool for donations or trust any actor who can put a video on GoFundMe.
The Melissa Bartons and Alissa Jacksons who cheat caring people should not create hard hearts. They should create inquiring brains.