Alissa Jackson lied to a lot of people about dying of cancer. She lied to old and new friends who donated more than $50,000 and brought her family meals and sat with her offering comfort. She lied to her children.
So it is more than understandable if anyone doubts her story of victimhood, molestation, domestic abuse and isolation. From her view, she deserved some compassion for suffering from life if not from cancer. From her view, there is little personal responsibility for her actions.
She will be in state prison for about 18 months, roughly half of the 3-year sentence for defrauding all those donors with her claims of terminal ovarian cancer. The 32-year-old Belleville woman should spend that time considering what kind of person she will be when she gets out, and especially what kind of parent she will be.
She should consider the words of Amanda Tabor, of New Athens, who helped raise money for her.
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“I have not donated to any charity since this happened,” Tabor said. “You are a scam artist. A leopard never changes its spots. Alissa, you’ll never stop lying.”
That may be, but Tabor is not alone in pulling back from helping others because Alissa Jackson lied. That may be the saddest result of this case.
Few families have not been touched by cancer. Even if President Barack Obama miraculously can pull off his cancer moonshot to provide major research funding, the greatest hope for a cure to cancer is still in individual hands.
People walk through the night. They hold canisters outside grocery stores. They find sponsors before they run. They write checks.
Alissa Jackson is not a reason to curb those efforts. She is simply a reason to be diligent as well as generous.