Claim: A 7-year-old girl named Jessica Mydek is dying of cancer, and the American Cancer Society will donate three cents to cancer research every time a message about her is forwarded.
Example:[Collected on the Internet, 1997]
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.
SEND A COPY OF THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW AND ONE TO THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY AT ACS@AOL.COM.
Origins: It sounds too easy to be true: forward an e-mail, rack up some cancer research money. And it is. Too easy to be true, that
This "dying child chain letter" hoax victimizes the American Cancer Society. In the name of a fictitious little girl, people are exhorted to forward the letter on because each forward drops more money into the research coffers. Such an offer is hard to resist because it's a painless good deed, a way to enjoy a self-congratulatory pat on the back for "making a difference" without actually having to do anything. After all, it's being underwritten by the American Cancer Society and nameless corporate sponsors, right?
Uh, wrong. You see, there is no Jessica Mydek, and there is no such program to score up some easy cancer research money. What there is, however, is the long-suffering American Cancer Society, who have been left holding the bag. Our American Cancer Society page traces the history of this hoax, the many variants of the original Jessica Mydek message, and the numerous imitation hoax messages they have spawned.
Last updated: 27 March 2005
Crowe, Rosalie Robles. "Sorrowful E-Mail Just a Hoax."
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.