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Thread started 09/08/10 8:42am

BlackAdder7

Wife faked cancer to get sympathy, free wedding

http://today.msnbc.msn.co...?Gt1=43001

Tricked: Husband says wife faked cancer for free goodies

Dream wedding, honeymoon donated to woman who said she had mere months to live

Advertisement | ad info
Image: Jessica Vega being fitted for her donated wedding gown
Jeff Goulding / Times Herald-Record
The Bella Couture dress shop in Newburgh, N.Y., donated a wedding dress to Jessica Vega in April 2010. Shop managers and employees thought Vega had terminal leukemia.
TODAY staff
updated 9/7/2010 7:22:38 PM ET

Residents of the city of Newburgh, N.Y., are feeling angered — and saddened — over news that they may have fallen for the worst kind of hoax.

Back in April, the local paper ran a story about Jessica Vega, a bride-to-be in her early 20s who had less than a year to live. She said she had acute myeloid leukemia, and she wanted to marry her fiancé before she had to say goodbye to him and their 11-month-old baby girl.

Her story generated an outpouring of sympathy and support from big-hearted locals. They donated a wedding dress, wedding rings, wedding flowers, wedding photos, hair-styling and makeup for the entire bridal party, and a honeymoon in Aruba.

But over Labor Day weekend, those same locals were stunned to learn they may have been tricked. In an article in the Times Herald-Record — the same paper that ran the original piece about Vega — her husband Michael O’Connell alleged that Vega’s cancer diagnosis had been faked.

The newspaper reported that O’Connell said Vega pretended to have terminal leukemia “in order to scam him, everyone they knew and a long list of strangers who heard her story and wanted to help.” The couple is now in the process of divorcing, and O’Connell is pursuing full custody of their now-1-year-old daughter.

Image: Michael O'Connell signing marriage license as Jessica Vega kisses their infant daughter
Jeff Goulding / Times Herald-Record
Happier times: Michael O'Connell, left, signed a marriage license on April 5, 2010 at Newburgh City Hall as his fiancée, Jessica Vega, kissed their 11-month-old daughter.

Vega denied deliberately tricking anyone. She told the Times Herald-Record that she now doubts the accuracy of her original diagnosis. She said she has a new doctor and has seen her health improve by exercising, eating fresh foods and drinking only water and tea.

‘Never a patient here’
At issue is the trustworthiness of a letter Vega showed a Times Herald-Record reporter back in April to confirm her leukemia diagnosis. That letter appeared to come from a Dr. Dan Costin.

O’Connell said he simply believed Vega when she told him about the cancer diagnosis while they were still dating. He said he didn’t examine the doctor’s letter closely until recently, and he wishes he had looked at it sooner.

With the Times Herald-Record reporter present and listening over speaker phone, O’Connell called Costin’s office and was told that Vega had not been a patient there.

“I can tell you for sure this person was never a patient here,” an office administrator said.

Vega said she would take the reporter with her to see both Dr. Costin and her new doctor about her condition. On the day they were to visit her new doctor, she canceled with the explanation that she had just received her divorce papers.

“I have to meet up wit my lawyer instead hope u understand that settlin my divorce is more important and time consuming than this article,” she wrote in a text message. Over the following week, she contacted the reporter again and mentioned “legal consequences” if the newspaper ran a story about her husband’s allegations.

Vega also said her husband had been physically abusive and her health was actually improving now that they were apart. O’Connell acknowledged an incident when he bit Vega’s elbow to escape her headlock, and another incident when he slapped her during an argument shortly before they separated.

Vega’s mother, Diana Vega, defended her daughter in the Times Herald-Record story. “Jessie would never do something so manipulative,” she said.

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Reply #1 posted 09/08/10 9:41am

XxAxX

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neutral

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Reply #2 posted 09/08/10 9:46am

2freaky4church
1

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We live in an awful society where we create stupid, awful people. I blame Ayn Rand.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #3 posted 09/08/10 9:52am

Graycap23

She should get a free trip 2 jail.

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Reply #4 posted 09/08/10 9:52am

XxAxX

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2freaky4church1 said:

We live in an awful society where we create stupid, awful people. I blame Ayn Rand.

i blame adam and eve nod

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Reply #5 posted 09/08/10 10:42am

missfee

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disbelief Damn.

I will forever love and miss you...my sweet Prince.
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Reply #6 posted 09/08/10 10:47am

SHOCKADELICA1

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That's a damn shame....but this story doesn't surprise me disbelief

They should just let the town kick her ass. thumbs up!

"Bring friends, bring your children and bring foot spray 'cause it's gon' be funky." ~ Prince

A kiss on the lips, is betta than a knife in the back ~ Sheila E

Darkness isn't the absence of light, it's the absence of U ~ Prince
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Reply #7 posted 09/08/10 10:56am

uPtoWnNY

SHOCKADELICA1 said:

They should just let the town kick her ass. thumbs up!

Yep...make that dumbass run the gauntlet wearing her wedding dress.

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Reply #8 posted 09/08/10 11:10am

luv4u

Moderator

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moderator

What's with these types of people ??!! mad

Even this woman who recently in the article in the link below had people convinced she had cancer and now she's in legal hot water for faking it. Her family is even disgusted.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/...il956.html

Edmonton, AB - canada
Mod Goddess of the SNIP & BAN Making Moves - OF4S
Ohh purple joy oh purple bliss oh purple rapture!
REAL MUSIC by REAL MUSICIANS - Prince
"I kind of wish there was a reason for Prince to make the site crash more" ~~ Ben
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Reply #9 posted 09/08/10 11:29am

SHOCKADELICA1

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eek Oh snap! I just remembered that some DJ here did the same type shit.

http://www.wave3.com/Global/story.asp?s=4341211

ALS Groups Now Shun Todd Kelly

Click image to enlarge

By Eric Flack

(LOUISVILLE) -- We were the first to tell you about allegations a Louisville radio personality could be faking a degenerative disease. Now WAVE 3 Investigator Eric Flack has learned Kentucky State Police are investigating possible theft charges against Todd Kelly.

Kelly claims to suffer from ALS, also known as "Lou Gerhig's Disease." It's a claim he has yet to prove, despite using the disease to raise thousands of dollars for a foundation he created.

"Bring friends, bring your children and bring foot spray 'cause it's gon' be funky." ~ Prince

A kiss on the lips, is betta than a knife in the back ~ Sheila E

Darkness isn't the absence of light, it's the absence of U ~ Prince
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Reply #10 posted 09/08/10 12:04pm

meow85

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disbelief

I really hate people who do this.

A good hoax is funny or clever. This is just manipulative.

[Edited 9/8/10 12:04pm]

"A Watcher scoffs at gravity!"
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Reply #11 posted 09/08/10 12:11pm

MoniGram

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That's just sooo wrong!

Proud Memaw to Seyhan Olivia Christine ,Zoey Cirilo Jaylee & Ellie Abigail Lillian mushy
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Reply #12 posted 09/08/10 12:43pm

Cerebus

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Haha! Reason number 785 to never get married; fake cancer.

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Reply #13 posted 09/08/10 12:49pm

Shyra

I used to work with this woman who claimed her house burned down to get sympathy from coworkers. She claimed she lost everything in the fire and that her daughter had been trapped in the fire and was severely burned. She claimed that she had no insurance and needed money to rebuild and refurnish her house as well as expenses for her daughter. The law firm (where we worked at the time) gave her several thousand dollars and coworkers took up a collection and donated several hundred dollars as well. About two months later we found out that she lied about the entire saga. Her house never burned. Bitch didn't even own a house! The partners at the firm were so pissed they immediately had her ass escorted out of the building. I think they even pressed charges of fraud, but I left and never found out what became of her. They should have known better...bitch was a socalled reformed crack-head.

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Reply #14 posted 09/08/10 12:54pm

MoniGram

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Shyra said:

I used to work with this woman who claimed her house burned down to get sympathy from coworkers. She claimed she lost everything in the fire and that her daughter had been trapped in the fire and was severely burned. She claimed that she had no insurance and needed money to rebuild and refurnish her house as well as expenses for her daughter. The law firm (where we worked at the time) gave her several thousand dollars and coworkers took up a collection and donated several hundred dollars as well. About two months later we found out that she lied about the entire saga. Her house never burned. Bitch didn't even own a house! The partners at the firm were so pissed they immediately had her ass escorted out of the building. I think they even pressed charges of fraud, but I left and never found out what became of her. They should have known better...bitch was a socalled reformed crack-head.

Wow that takes balls to pull something like that off in a law firm. That's just nuts!

Proud Memaw to Seyhan Olivia Christine ,Zoey Cirilo Jaylee & Ellie Abigail Lillian mushy
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Reply #15 posted 09/10/10 10:14am

SupaFunkyOrgan
grinderSexy

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Cerebus said:

Haha! Reason number 785 to never get married; fake cancer.

falloff falloff falloff falloff

Seriously, falloff lol

2010: Healing the Wounds of the Past.... http://prince.org/msg/8/325740
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Reply #16 posted 09/11/10 12:29pm

psychodelicide

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disbelief Stupid bitch. disbelief

RIP, Prince. A legend has left us, and you will be forever missed. cry

"She probably found her vagina". lol
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Reply #17 posted 09/11/10 3:15pm

FauxReal

I'd like it if a judge made her not only give any money or gifts back, but sentenced her to about 1000 hours community service, specifically being some sort of bedside assistant to patients with terminal cancer. Fix their meals, clean their rooms, mop up their vomit after they undergo chemo, things like that. Let her work with child cancer sufferers too so she can learn to appreciate and not take for granted the life she has that they never will.

Maybe she'll learn something and redeem herself just a little at the same time.

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Reply #18 posted 09/11/10 4:39pm

psychodelicide

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FauxReal said:

I'd like it if a judge made her not only give any money or gifts back, but sentenced her to about 1000 hours community service, specifically being some sort of bedside assistant to patients with terminal cancer. Fix their meals, clean their rooms, mop up their vomit after they undergo chemo, things like that. Let her work with child cancer sufferers too so she can learn to appreciate and not take for granted the life she has that they never will.

Maybe she'll learn something and redeem herself just a little at the same time.

I like this idea! nod

RIP, Prince. A legend has left us, and you will be forever missed. cry

"She probably found her vagina". lol
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Reply #19 posted 09/12/10 11:53am

Cinnie

FauxReal said:

I'd like it if a judge made her not only give any money or gifts back, but sentenced her to about 1000 hours community service, specifically being some sort of bedside assistant to patients with terminal cancer. Fix their meals, clean their rooms, mop up their vomit after they undergo chemo, things like that. Let her work with child cancer sufferers too so she can learn to appreciate and not take for granted the life she has that they never will.

Maybe she'll learn something and redeem herself just a little at the same time.

I like that.

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Reply #20 posted 09/12/10 10:59pm

wildgoldenhone
y

What a way to start off your life together, basing it on a lie.

I'm guessing the doctor checked his records and that's how he found out she wasn't a patient there, or he doesn't remember writing a letter for a diagnosis?

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