Claim:   The Make-a-Wish Foundation will donate 7¢ per per e-mail forward towards the care of 23-year-old Matt Dawson, who is dying of lung cancer and a brain tumor.

Status:   False.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, 2006]


Body: Everyone needs to take the time and read this. Just take a break from all your other stupid bulletins about who is gonna die or if your love life will suck for 7 years and be serious and do the right thing. Repost this… or you have no soul seriously. A kid needs our help, so do the right thing…

Hi, my name is Matt Dawson. I am 23 years old, and 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 to donate 7 cents for every time this message is reposted. For those of you who repost, I thank you so much. But for those who don’t repost it, I will still pray for you. Please, if you are a kind person, have a heart. Please, please, PLEASE REPOST THIS MESSAGE!

Matt Dawson
602-xxx-xxxx Home

Please feel free to call me for anything

*hey it wont cost you but 10 seconds of your time

Origins:   The

above-quoted “dying child” appeal first appeared in our inbox in July 2006 and is simply a reworking of the long-running Amy Bruce e-mail hoax with a different name slapped into the text. The underlying falsity remains the same: the Make-A-Wish Foundation will not donate money to anyone based upon the number of times an online appeal is forwarded via e-mail or posted to message boards. The “Matt Dawson” 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 appeal is reposted. (Indeed, a quick look at the 2006 dying child e-mail hoaxes in the names of Chad Briody and Brian Warner shows the Matt Dawson e-mail is but a reworking of them.)

The Make-A-Wish Foundation does not in any way assist in procuring medical treatment for sick children. They do work 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.

Additional information:

Chain Letters Chain Letters (Make-A-Wish Foundation)

Last updated:   25 July 2006