There is no 7-year-old girl named Amy Bruce dying of lung cancer and a brain tumor brought on by “repeated beatings,” nor will the Make-A-Wish Foundation donate money to anyone based upon the number of times an e-mail is forwarded. The “Amy Bruce” message is one of many variants of the same basic hoax, one which falsely claims that the American Cancer Society, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, or some other charitable or medical organization will donate a set amount of money every time a particular e-mail is forwarded.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation does not in any way assist in procuring medical treatment for sick children. It works to grant the wishes of youngsters with life-threatening medical conditions, but the Make-A-Wish Foundation is about “enriching the human experience with hope, strength, and joy” by helping to create special days for desperately ill children, not about collecting donations to pay for medical care.
The fictitious Amy Bruce is often credited with penning the “Slow Dance” poem which was actually written by an adult male child psychologist.
A March 2009 version of the hoax that was spread by text message to cell phones changed the name “Amy Bruce” to “Erik Bruce” or “Erick Bruce”:
Hi, my name is Erik bruce. I’m 7 yrs old, I have a large tumor on my brain and severe lung cancer. The doctors say I will die soon if this isn’t fixed and my family can’t pay the bills.” The make a wish foundation has agreed 2 donate 7 cents 4 everytime this message is sent on 4 those who fwd this i thankyou but 4 those who don’t I’ll pray 4u anyway This is not a joke.
A 2017 version changed the name to “Annakay Brown.”
Crowe, Rosalie Robles. “Sorrowful E-Mail Just a Hoax.”
The Arizona Republic. 22 May 1999 (p. B4).