Fact Check

Amanda Bundy

Is a little girl named Amanda Bundy dying from a terminal cancer?

Published Jan 1, 2000

Claim:   A six-year-old girl named Amanda Bundy is dying from a terminal form of cancer.

Status:   Not any more.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 1998]

Amanda Bundy is a 6-year-old girl in Greensburg Pennsylvania, the daughter of some very close friends of ours. A few weeks ago her mother was giving her a hug and felt a lump on Amanda's back. An X-ray showed it to be some sort of growth, and later tests discovered that is a massive malignant tumor that has spread to all parts of her chest and abdomen. There are no organs that are untouched and she has more tumor in her body than she has organs. As I write this, she is hospitalized after a biopsy of the tumor, and her parents are waiting for the results of a bone marrow test. If her bone marrow is clean, then they have a chance to save her with chemotherapy. If they find cancerous cells in her bone marrow, then the only hope to save her life is a miracle. She is in no pain yet and appears to be a perfectly healthy, beautiful little red-haired girl. She doesn't even know she is sick yet and can't understand why she has to go to the doctor so often if she's not sick.

I am asking for your prayers on her behalf. Please pray for her healing and for strength and comfort for her family. She is only six years old.

Think of a six year old in your life and imagine that life being cut short. You can only imagine a fraction of the pain and fear her parents are facing. They need a miracle of God's healing so that they can watch their precious firstborn grow up. Normally I hate e-mail chain letters but now I am asking you to send this letter, or copies of it, to everybody you can think of that will pray for Amanda. Please also take her name to your church and church groups and ask others to pray for her healing. Many thanks and may God bless each one of you who cares enough to pray for a little girl's life.

Origins:   Yes, there really is an Amanda. And she did indeed confront the spectre of cancer. But, please, don't rush this request to everyone you know; the crisis is long passed. As in, it ended in March 1998.

The above prayer request was sent out on 19 March 1998 by a friend of the family of this afflicted child and at a time when no one knew how things were going to turn out for the little girl. Within a week, good news was received — the child's biopsy and bone


marrow samples showed negative for cancer. The tumor was removed on March 27 and determined benign. Amanda has since recovered from her ordeal and gotten back to the business of being a healthy, active little girl. No further surgeries or medical treatments are called for.

Okay, so what's the problem, you say? Less than a week after the prayer request was sent out (and long before it had begun to propagate into the hydra it's since become), the sword hanging over Amanda's head was gone. She was well, she was safe, and the crisis had passed. Meanwhile, the prayer request was traveling farther and farther as hundreds — and then thousands — of concerned netizens added Amanda to their prayers, then sent the story on to an ever-widening circle of acquaintance. By the summer of 1998 the congregations of various churches across the USA were praying for Amanda . . . a child long past the point of danger.

The problem with such requests is there's no way to turn them off once the emergency is over. The continue to radiate outwards, reaching more people all the time.

Mail to the e-address provided in the prayer request now goes unanswered. The incoming volume proved too much to keep up with. In the greater scheme of things, loss of an e-mail account barely registers. But loss of a family's privacy and time together does.

Numerous well-wishers went to the trouble of obtaining the Bundys' home telephone number, leaving Amanda's mother to field one inquiry after another. The family has since requested they not be called. They've a busy household to be run, the company of a little girl to enjoy, and a baby to tend. Time taken to be on the phone with callers — no matter how well-meaning — is time taken away from those things.

Did the prayers said in Amanda's name during that first week make the difference? It's impossible to say . . . though it is comforting to believe they did. But what of the thousands of prayers said since then?

Barbara "save your prayers for them wot needs them" Mikkelson

Last updated:   27 March 2005