UPDATE: This post was originally published on June 13, 2016. On June 17, 2016, Emily Meyers announced the passing of her husband Martin Meyers. Our thoughts are with the Meyers family at this time.
“Then she took a deep breath and said those words so apologetically, ‘I mean we’re talking a few weeks here, maybe.’ I can’t even explain what that felt like. All I know is that I was holding his warm hand, and I saw our five little babies in my mind, and I knew that no matter what happened to Marty that we would all be together. That our family was forever, and that everything would be OK, no matter what.”
Those words were written by Emily Meyers last week, a grieving wife preparing to say goodbye to her beloved husband while also hoping and praying for a miracle. Once known for her intricate hair tutorials and beautiful family of five children under the age of 5 through her site, The Freckled Fox, the world now knows Emily as a woman with an impossibly heartbreaking story.
Because Emily is preparing to say goodbye to her husband, Martin Meyers, a writer, bodybuilder, property manager, and father of five, after a shocking cancer diagnosis that did not respond to treatment.
But Emily’s story is made all the more devastating by the fact that she and her family endured months of public shaming, bullying, and outright hostility for alleged claims that Martin had been faking his cancer.
I refuse to name the site here, but there exists in the bowels of the Internet, a horrible “snark site,” a place where people go just to make fun of bloggers, and Emily’s site was a popular destination for the kind of desperate and depraved individuals who would spend purposeful time tearing down other people. Almost immediately after Emily first announced Martin’s diagnosis of stage-4 melanoma at the age of 34, there were accusations that he was faking it and people declaring they hoped he would die, so certain were they that he was an attention-seeking narcissist.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I got lost in it — we’re talking 70+ pages of people posting “proof” he was a liar, touting their own medical expertise and digging out inconsistencies in the couple’s story or mocking pictures on Martin’s Instagram site.
And the biggest “proof” in the trolls’ eyes that Martin and Emily were liars? Emily was just too darn “cheerful” to really be dealing with cancer.
It would turn out that Emily had held back from disclosing how truly devastating Martin’s diagnosis was from her readers out of fear of upsetting them — not that she owes the world anything anyways. After all, everyone copes in different ways.
Eventually, this poor woman’s life was severely affected, as the trolls started leaving hateful comments on all of their social media platforms. Can you imagine dealing with a newborn (Emily gave birth to their fifth child shortly after Martin was diagnosed) and getting inundated with hateful messages and comments 24/7?
Things became so awful that Emily wrote a post explaining — and pleading — to everyone that Martin’s cancer was indeed real and to please, just leave their family alone. But even that wasn’t enough to stop them, and Emily’s letter became a source of mockery. Although the thread has been removed from the site now that it’s painfully obvious how sick Martin is, I can attest to reading both Emily’s letter and the horrible, hateful lengths people went to tear down her family.
Honestly, the vileness in that thread was enough to make me doubt all of humanity. We forget so easily that there are real people with real lives behind the world of screens we live in.
It wasn’t until a group called the Warrior Eli Hoax, which brings down cancer hoaxes on the Internet, went public with a post supporting Emily and Martin and proved they were definitely not faking anything, that people finally, finally started to back off a little.
But now, sadly, it appears too late for this family. And at the end of the day, despite the outrage we can feel about what this family has had to endure publicly on top of dealing with cancer, the bottom line is that a family will soon be without a father and a wife without the love of her life.
Emily’s latest update on June 3 details the family following doctors’ recommendations to stop all cancer treatment. They have placed Martin on hospice and have been told that he has weeks, if that, left to live.
Despite everything she has been through, Emily has nothing but thanks for the people online who have chosen to support her any way they can, proving there is still good left in this world after all.
“Thank you for your never-ending love and positivity,” Emily wrote. “I feel so incredibly lucky and blessed to have so many angels behind us through this whole last year. Every time I got online this last week especially and saw sweet comments from so so many of you, encouraging me to update, sharing our story, spreading our fundraiser, sending messages of hope and concern and understanding, or ways in which our ordeal has helped or changed you in some positive way. That’s what’s kept my head up through all of this, and that’s what’s going to keep me going no matter what may happen to my sweetheart or to my family.”
If you would like to donate to support Emily, her husband, and their family, you can do so on their YouCaring page.More On