ACS hoax letter. Sorry - who knew?

James Woodson jwoodson at ucla.edu
Thu Jul 24 17:42:35 EST 1997


Here's a print from their website.  Sorry, I fail to see how anyone
benefitted from such a stupid prank.

It certainly puts a damper on one's sympathies when something like this
happens.

Apologies again, James

                                                Fraudulent Chain Letter

                                         This statement may be copied or
reprinted by online users

The American Cancer Society is greatly disturbed by reports of a fraudulent
chain letter circulating on the internet which lists the American Cancer
Society as a
"corporate sponsor" but which has in no way been endorsed by the American
Cancer Society. There are several variations of this letter in circulation,
including
one which has a picture of "Tickle Me Elmo" and one that is essentially a
paraphrase of the letter below.

The text of the original message reads as follows:

LITTLE JESSICA MYDEK IS SEVEN YEARS OLD AND IS SUFFERING FROM AN ACUTE AND
VERY RARE CASE OF CEREBRAL CARCINOMA.
THIS CONDITION CAUSES SEVERE MALIGNANT BRAIN TUMORS AND IS A TERMINAL
ILLNESS. THE DOCTORS HAVE GIVEN HER SIX
MONTHS TO LIVE.

AS PART OF HER DYING WISH, SHE WANTED TO START A CHAIN LETTER TO INFORM
PEOPLE OF THIS CONDITION AND TO SEND PEOPLE
THE MESSAGE TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST AND ENJOY EVERY MOMENT, A CHANCE
THAT SHE WILL NEVER HAVE. FURTHERMORE,
THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY AND SEVERAL CORPORATE SPONSORS HAVE AGREED TO
DONATE THREE CENTS TOWARD
CONTINUING CANCER RESEARCH FOR EVERY NEW PERSON THAT GETS FORWARDED THIS
MESSAGE. PLEASE GIVE JESSICA AND ALL
CANCER VICTIMS A CHANCE.

IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS, SEND THEM TO THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY AT
ACS at AOL.COM

As far as the American Cancer Society can determine, the story of Jessica
Mydek is completely unsubstantiated. No fundraising efforts are being made
by the American Cancer Society using chain letters of any kind.
Furthermore, the email address ACS at AOL.COM is inactive. Any messages to the
American Cancer Society should be instead sent through the American Cancer
Society website at http://www.cancer.org.

This particular chain letter with its heartbreaking story appears to have
struck an emotional chord with online users. Although we are very concerned
that the
American Cancer Society's name has been used to manipulate the online
public, we applaud the good intentions of all who participated in this
letter. We are
pleased to note that there are so many caring individuals out there and
hope that they will find another way to support cancer research. Jessica
Mydek's story,
whether true or false, is representative of that of many cancer patients
who benefit daily from the efforts of legitimate cancer organizations
nationwide.





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