Meet your new devious cancer-scammer: 23-year-old Toronto resident Ashley Kirilow. She shaved her head, waxed her eyebrows, plucked her eyelashes and allegedly scammed more than $20,000 through her charity, "Change" for the Cure.
Kirilow—whose parents say "you couldn't trust anything she was saying" growing up—started her scam after having a benign lump removed from her breast in 2008, according to the Toronto Star. This minor operation was the seed from which Kirilow grew her elaborate cancer lie.
Pretending to have every cancer from brain to breast, she became the cause celebre of Toronto's music and skateboarding scene, tricking hundreds of people into helping her raise money for her treatment and her fake charity (really just a Facebook page), "Change for the Cure," through benefit concerts and change buckets. One event alone raised $9,000, and a skateboarding-related cancer charity gave her a free trip to Disney World.
One woman posted on her "charity's" Facebook wall: "I stand amazed that such a young soul could inspire so many with fresh drive to fight against a disease that has affected every one of us in some way. "
This all ended when her father discovered her scam, according to the Star. He gave her an ultimatum: confess or he'd reveal the truth. She apparently didn't confess, and on August 1st, 17-year-old Jamie Counsell posted this on his blog:
As many of you know, I have done a lot of work in the past with "Change" For A Cure. I personally raised over $1500 by running two local shows at the Sharon Hall. These shows saw so much love, and so much talent. I am writing this to inform you of some news that I am sure will raise some questions. We have been contacted by family members of Ashley Kirilow, the founder and director of "Change" For A Cure, who have told us that Ashley never had cancer. She led us to believe that she did in order to start this charity. She waxed her head and plucked her eyebrows in an attempt to look as if she was suffering the effects of chemo.
Kirilow admitted to the Star that she faked her cancer, but says she only used it to scam around $5,000 for her fake charity. So, you know, no big deal! Nobody knows where she is now, but we imagine she's partying with Hipster Grifter Kari Ferrell somewhere up in Grifter Heaven before her stint in Grifter Hell (jail).
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