Fact Check

Milagros Cerron Facebook Appeal

Rumor: Facebook and CNN are contributing money towards the medical treatment of a girl born with fused legs every time a message is shared.

Published May 19, 2015

Claim:   Facebook and CNN are contributing money towards the treatment of a girl born with fused legs every time a message is shared.


Example:   [Collected via Facebook, May 2015]

The parents can't afford it so CNN and Facebook are agreeing to pay half the expenses for the family and the kid so please dont ignore and help and spread the word
1 Like = 20$
1 comment = 50$
1 share = 100$


Origins:   As discussed in innumerable articles in this section of our web site, companies do not fund the medical care of sick or injured children by donating money based on the number of times a particular item

is forwarded via e-mail, posted or liked on Facebook, spread via text messaging, or otherwise shared online. The concept that they do is one of the longest-running hoaxes in the history of the Internet.

As is often the case in false entreaties such as this May 2015 example, photographs included with the plea that are intended to tug at viewers' heartstrings and enlist their support have absolutely nothing to do with the text of the message. In this case the pictured child is Milagros Cerron, a Peruvian girl who was born in 2004 with Sirenomelia (or Mermaid Syndrome), a rare congenital deformity in which the legs are fused together and have the appearance of a mermaid's tail.

Milagros Cerron underwent a series of surgeries in 2005-06 to address her condition; and while she will require more operations and physical therapy to lead a normal life, medical treatment of her primary physical deformity was largely tackled several years ago:

The bottom line is that Milagros is not in need of good-hearted souls willing to use Facebook's "share" feature to pass along the photo and attached information to their social network friends. If you want to make a difference in this (or any other) ailing child's life, the best way is still the old-fashioned one: donate your money or your time, not a text message or Facebook wall post.

Last updated:   19 May 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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