A woman has admitted to having profited from a lie that she had cancer, in a scheme to save her troubled marriage.
Amy Ellissa Hammer, of the US state of North Carolina, was arrested Thursday when a police investigation found that she had pretended to suffer from Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, cancer that grows from the bone marrow.
According to information sent to Yahoo from the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, Hammer, 30, established a Facebook page called Amy’s Promise to accept donations for alleged healthcare costs. She also sold T-shirts.
After Hammer’s arrest, a March 23 fundraiser at the Trinity Wesleyan Church of Seagrove was cancelled; a church spokesperson did not respond to Yahoo’s requests for comment.
The police are now determining how much money was donated to Hammer’s fake cause and how many victims were impacted.
“I do not have cancer,” Hammer told Fox 8, explaining that she lied to keep her marriage intact.
“When he said he was going to leave me, it was an impulsive thing. We’ve been together so long, I was scared, terrified. That’s my three kids, my husband that I’ve known for so long. So it was an impulsive thing and it snowballed.”
“I have to deal with what I’ve done and that I hate myself,” Hammer said.
“But I am sorry, I have to live with this. What I have done has hurt a lot of people, a lot.”
The mum promised to return the donations.
“Assumptions are like rumours, they just keep spreading and spreading, and I have three kids. What I’ve done to my children is awful and I have to live with that. I am trying to shelter my kids right now,” she said.
A family friend of Hammer’s, who did not want Yahoo to publish her last name, says Hammer messaged her about “exhausting” chemo appointments.
“I suspected she was lying weeks after her diagnosis,” the woman told Yahoo.
“I cried and cried when I found out. We’ve had ups and downs but I have always loved her for who she is.”
Hammer was charged with Obtaining Property by False Pretense. She is due in Randolph County Superior Court on April 22.
“No matter what I say, it’s not an excuse and it’s not going to make it right, but I have to live with this,” Hammer told Fox 8.
“I have to live with a lot of things because a lot of things are going to change.”
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