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Thread: Parents said son had cancer to get football team visit, GoFundMe donations

  1. #1
    Elder Arcanist
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    Parents said son had cancer to get football team visit, GoFundMe donations

    Parents said son had cancer to get Syracuse football team visit, GoFundMe donations

    A couple was arrested after authorities in central New York concluded that their son's cancer battle – which led to a visit to a Syracuse football practice and more than $3,000 in donations – was a lie.

    Martin and Jolene LaFrance of Port Byron, N.Y., were each charged with one felony count of scheme to defraud and a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child, the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

    Detective Nicole Stewart told Syracuse.com on Tuesday that the couple convinced their 10-year-old son, CJ, that he had cancer as part of the scheme.

    "The investigation revealed that Mr. and Mrs. LaFrance participated in the creation of a GoFundMe request for donations which indicated that their child had cancer," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "As a result of this online solicitation, they did receive several thousand dollars in donations. The investigation revealed conclusively that the child was never diagnosed with cancer or any other medical condition that was alleged in the GoFundMe solicitation."

    Beyond the donations to the crowdfunding site, CJ LaFrance visited the Syracuse football team last year. Syracuse.com reported that CJ was 9 at the time of the visit – which included other family members – in August 2017.

    The couple said their son was battling Hodgkin's lymphoma. The boy's uncle, Justin Roe, told Syracuse.com at the time of the visit that CJ had undergone radiation treatment and that he had lymph nodes surgically removed.

    "He has not been getting better," Roe told Syracuse.com.

    GoFundMe said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports that family has been banned from the site and "all donors will receive a refund."

    "It's important to remember that our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors are fully protected and will get their money back. Additionally, we are working with law enforcement on their investigation," GoFundMe said in its statement.

    Uncle: Syracuse boy who falsely believed he had cancer was terrified of death

    SYRACUSE — The uncle of 10-year-old CJ LaFrance was unaware his nephew did not have cancer, he said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

    Justin Roe, who spoke to CJ’s medical situation after a special visit to Syracuse football practice last summer, expressed anger and embarrassment while discussing his sister, Jolene LaFrance, and brother-in-law, Martin LaFrance, who are accused of soliciting money under the guise that their son was battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

    “Anybody who makes up an illness and tries to use that to their advantage, that’s sickening,” Roe said. “It’s abhorrent behavior. I don’t want to be associated with people like that.

    “It’s unfathomable to think that they would stoop this low. I can’t describe how angry I am.”

    Martin and Jolene LaFrance were charged with scheme to defraud and endangering the welfare of a child after a four-month investigation on Friday. The Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office, acting on a tip, “conclusively” discovered that CJ was never diagnosed with cancer or any other medical condition.

    An archive of the LaFrance’s now defunct GoFundMe page from Aug. 30, 2017, shows that $3,334 had been donated to the cause.

    Roe, who lives in Seattle, said he never communicated directly with a medical official about CJ during the year-and-a-half faux battle and received the majority of his information from the parents. He did keep in touch with CJ, trying to lift his spirits regularly, and confirmed the police report that the 10-year-old believed he was diagnosed with cancer — “100 percent.”

    A phone conversation before the trip to SU last summer resonates with Roe.

    “He told me that he didn’t want to close his eyes at night because he was afraid of not waking up,” Roe said. “I’m CJ’s only uncle. To see somebody that I’ve bonded with like that, it was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to face as an uncle. I think that’s why today was just like a right hook to the face.”

    Roe said Wednesday has been a “whirlwind” for him, first learning of the situation via a reporter’s message while he was on his honeymoon in Europe. The news has led him to rethink interactions, like all the times CJ’s parents never took Roe up on an offer to have friends in the medical community review CJ’s records.

    He’s questioning other information that his sister and brother-in-law have provided through the years.

    “I don’t know what’s the truth right now,” Roe said. “I don’t know what the truth anymore.”

    Roe’s in-person interactions with CJ over the last handful of years have been limited as Roe left New York in 2011, but include a monthlong stay last summer. That’s when they made the trip to SU for practice.

    Roe feels embarrassed now for setting up the event that led to CJ meeting and playing catch with his favorite players and using that spotlight to share the GoFundMe page within the Syracuse community.

    The medical updates Roe provided in an interview last summer were relayed from CJ’s parents, he said. Those included CJ’s diagnosis being upgraded to Stage 3, him having already undergone a full round of radiation, him having lymph nodes removed via surgery and a malignant tumor being found in CJ’s abdomen.

    Most painful from that experience, perhaps, was a bond formed with SU director of player development Roy Wittke, who is a two-time cancer survivor. Roe messaged Wittke about fourth months ago when he received word from a family member that CJ was cancer free.

    Roy responded with congratulations and said he’d share the news with the program.

    “It makes me feel very stupid,” Roe said.

    Roe said he attempted to contact the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday morning and is willing to cooperate with their investigation, which is ongoing. He had not heard from them during the investigation.

    But his primary focus is on CJ and his older sister, Jocelyn, who police believe are still living with Martin and Jolene.

    “First and foremost, I feel bad for CJ to have to go through this,” Roe said. “When you’re that young, it’s not fair to have to go through this. I can’t even imagine what he’s going through.”

  2. #2
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    Re: Parents said son had cancer to get football team visit, GoFundMe donations

    What the fuck is wrong with people? Who would convince their kid they had cancer... just to make money off of it? That's just sick!

  3. #3

    Re: Parents said son had cancer to get football team visit, GoFundMe donations

    Quote Originally Posted by Khieran View Post
    What the fuck is wrong with people? Who would convince their kid they had cancer... just to make money off of it? That's just sick!

  4. #4
    Banjo Duellist, 8th Dan
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    Re: Parents said son had cancer to get football team visit, GoFundMe donations

    remember case here in UK where woman pretended her kid got kidnapped, to make money/fame?


    yeah some folk need a plunger up the ass and I ain't talking "fun times" neither!


    as always MOST people are decent
    just that the shitheads stick out like...turds in snow....

    *he says in a mock of Roy Batty*


    roy batty 6.jpg
    Last edited by Silverblade-T-E; May 11th, 2018 at 12:14 PM.

  5. #5

    Re: Parents said son had cancer to get football team visit, GoFundMe donations

    Quote Originally Posted by Khieran View Post
    What the fuck is wrong with people? Who would convince their kid they had cancer... just to make money off of it? That's just sick!
    Additionally this harms it for people using something like this who really do have a problem. Scumbags like these parents harm the platform.
    "When you name your baby Jeeves...you've pretty much set up his career for life. You don't see many Hit Men, for example, named Jeeves. "Pardon me sir, but I must wack you now."
    — Jerry Seinfeld

  6. #6
    Mangina at large.
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    Re: Parents said son had cancer to get football team visit, GoFundMe donations

    My Russian friend just went through something similar, although not nearly as awful. Her son isn't allowed to bring peanut products to school - it's a nut-free zone. His idiot dad doesn't like nuts. So Dad convinced the son that he was allergic to peanuts - "that's why you can't bring them to school" - so Dad would never have to have anything with nuts in it (Mom almost exclusively buys food the son likes). Total moron.

  7. #7

    Re: Parents said son had cancer to get football team visit, GoFundMe donations

    Quote Originally Posted by Delores Mulva View Post
    so Dad would never have to have anything with nuts in it
    Andrew Dice Clay : I wonder how he thinks they had the kid in the first place. Oh!

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