Angry and disgusted

July 20, 2010

Every so often, I read a story about someone that really makes me question humanity as a whole. Yesterday, one such story angered me so much that I need to share it.

While poking around AOL News, I found a story on a special-education teacher in Pennsylvania who claimed to have brain cancer. She missed plenty of work, saying she had to undergo chemotherapy treatments. Folks around her were extremely supportive and generous towards what they thought was an ill coworker. When more than a decade of this passed and the teacher had yet to exhibit symptoms, an investigation uncovered a trail of lies.

Friends, family, and loyal readers know of my deep connection to this disease. I find it difficult to fully express my disdain for this woman as she used such a horrific illness as a cover for her deceit. I would love to visit her jail cell and explain to her the deeper severity of what she’s done. Did her family watch her suffer through surgeries, treatments and their side effects? Did she have to endure the pain, anguish and frustration that real cancer patients deal with daily?

What kind of person wakes up one morning and decides to feign a devastating sickness for their own personal gain? She played on people’s sympathies and emotions, receiving acts of kindness and generosity that should have benefitted someone who actually needed them. What’s perhaps more disturbing is that she was a special-education teacher, in charge of children with varying situations that require patience, understanding and compassion. My heart goes out to the children in her classes, as they were under the care of a mentally sick individual with no regard for others.

Jail time would not be enough for this woman. She should have to work without pay in cancer treatment centers, witnessing the struggles and the extreme courage of the people who are really fighting this disease. Maybe then she could begin to understand what a terrible person she is for making those claims.

Have you heard about this woman? Are you aware of other people who have made similar claims? How do you feel after reading something like this?



  1. Thank you, Ian. I appreciate your response not only for its educational perspective but also for your passionate defense of my argument. As always, you’re the best!

  2. I wonder what some of the teachers at my job would think of this. She was a three time nominated teacher of the year. It says she forged medical documents but I would think in most school systems for serious absences someone is supposed to make sure it’s legit as soon as you start taking the time off; I don’t think this would have been possible in NYC even if you forged something. She’s going to claim she was battling depression. I think she should permanently lose all her education licenses, go to prison for as long as possible and like you said she should have to volunteer at hospitals. Hopefully the judge would understand that, because like you point out she was getting all of that support that she didn’t deserve. She was a middle school teacher, looking through my middle school year book yesterday I realized how on the ball those teachers were. You would never want a person like this to be a middle school teacher or in any school building. I don’t know, but this is clearly completely insane.

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