Fact Check


Will forwarding an email help Natalie, an infant suffering from brain cancer?

Published Sep 9, 2002


Claim:   AOL will donate 5¢ per e-mail forward to help Natalie, a baby girl afflicted with brain cancer.

Status:   False.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2002]

Hello, My name is Krista Marie and I have anew born baby named Natalie. She means the world to me, and just resently, the doctors have discovered that my little Natalie has Brain Cancer. Unfortunatly my husband and I don't have the money to pay for the bill. But my husband and I have worked out a deal with AOL and they have agreed to give us 5cents to each person that recived this e-mail. So please, forward this to everyone you know, and help out my little Natalie and I.

Origins:   This plea on behalf of a baby girl named Natalie


who is supposedly suffering from brain cancer, purportedly penned by her distraught mother, Krista Marie, began making the Internet rounds in June 2002. This message is yet another variant of the same basic hoax, one which falsely claims that the American Cancer Society, AOL, or some other business or medical organization will donate a set amount of money every time a particular e-mail is forwarded.

The child mentioned in the e-mail is an invented one. Although many of the "Natalie" pleas arrive accompanied by the photo appearing on this page, the snapshot is not of the fictional Natalie but rather of Megan Olivia Cronce, who was born in September of 1996. Her proud parents placed her photo on the Internet, where it apparently was harvested by whoever was inspired to dress up this hoax with a graphic of the non-existent Natalie. Megan's photo appeared on a page hosted by Babypics.com.

Barbara "no natalieway" Mikkelson

Last updated:   2 April 2005