Twenty-three year-old Toronto resident Ashley Kirilow took a big risk. After discovering a benign lump in her breast in 2008–and having it removed–Kirilow decided to take things to the next level. She embarked on an elaborate lie, convincing people she had a terminal form of cancer, and started a “charity” to raise money for her “treatment.”
Kirilow created “Change for the Cure,” complete with a Facebook page and her representation at tons of local events, where people doled out cash as if, well, she really had cancer. The young woman shaved her head, waxed her eyebrows, and plucked her eyelashes to keep up the massive lie, and ended up scamming more than $20,000 from the thoughtful people who believed her.
But almost equally shocking is how her secret was revealed: by her father. According to the Toronto Star, Kirilow’s dad discovered her scam and didn’t give her any chance of getting away with it. After she refused to confess her lie, he leaked the information, which ended up being published on 17-year-old Jamie Counsell’s blog. Counsell had personally raised more than $1,500 for Kirilow’s supposed treatment. In his blog, he wrote, “We have been contacted by family members of Ashley Kirilow, the founder and director of ‘Change’ For A Cure, who have told us that Ashley never had cancer. She led us to believe that she did in order to start this charity.”
Eventually, Kirilow confessed to faking the cancer, but if her dad hadn’t revealed the information, how much further would she have gotten with this horrendous scam? We give props to Kirilow’s dad for going against his daughter and doing the right thing.