by Greg Campbell | February 2, 2016 1:23 pm
It’s getting harder and harder to be enthusiastic about supporting charities. Though there are many good and reputable ones, there are also many dishonest charities and scammers looking for money, attention or both. One despicable woman even claimed to have cancer three times in order to solicit attention.
A Seattle woman who said she had beaten breast cancer three times and raised more than $400,000 for charity faked the illness for at least five years.
Tracy Dart, who is in her forties, was caught lying when she went to the doctor’s for a liver problem and no records of her cancer could be found, the West Seattle Herald reported.
Dart had raised more than $400,000 for Susan G. Komen, a cancer charity that organizes a three-day, 60-mile walk every year, with her organization Team Tracy.
She had previously told the West Seattle Herald that she was diagnosed in 2008 and was undergoing chemotherapy, losing her air and experiencing fatigue as well as hot and cold flashes as a result.
Dart, who said she worked at a clothing shop but had taken time off for treatment, first took park in Komen’s three-day walk in 2006 in memory of her aunt, who died of breast cancer when she was 55, a 2010 profile by the West Seattle Herald said.
She told the newspaper she had a lump removed, followed by radiation and a course of oral chemotherapy, after her first diagnosis.
When the profile was published in 2010, Dart said she had just started IV chemotherapy and talked about the side effects of the treatment.
‘This time of course my hair has fallen out and I am more fatigued, kind of like I have a flu, with cold and hot flashes following the treatment,’ she told the West Seattle Herald. ‘It’s no fun. Again, I figure this is what I have to do and I’ll do it.’
Dart claimed she had survived breast cancer three times in total. She formed a team of fundraisers over the years, known as ‘Team Tracy’.
Together, they raised more than $400,000 for Komen.
Matthew Welch, who belongs to Team Tracy, told Komo News that another member had alerted him about Dart’s lies.
‘I wouldn’t say we’re angry,’ he said. ‘I would say she needs help, and I hope she gets it.’
Team Tracy has now been dissolved.
‘We are sad for Tracy and her family and hope that she, and they, will find healing in the days ahead,’ Komen told the West Seattle Herald in a statement.
Dart raised $28,541 for the charity since 2006 and her teams in Seattle and California collected more than $414,000, the statement added. The money went to Komen’s research and community programs.
It’s terrific that these charities were able to raise money, but it’s clear that this woman is not only damaged, but truly bereft of ethics.
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