Claim: AOL is donating 15¢ for every 12 forwards of a plea from Debbie Shwartz, a single mother of four.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2003]
I am a single mother of four kids: ages five, three and a half,
Then, the tragedy struck on January 13th. My oldest, Matt, got hit by a car while playing outside. (The driver never got fined – it was a hit and run). After agonizingly long weeks of hospitalization, we did not think he would live but thank godness is he alive right now … but barely. He is still in the hospital in the comatose condition. Doctors say he will be a vegetable for the rest of his live, for as long as he lives and even if he does come out of the coma – his brain is too damaged for him to lead a normal life. My insurance coverage run out and I can’t afford hospital bills. Right now I own a hospital over 500,000 dollars so far.
Shortly, after the accident has happened, my 87 year old grandmother, with whom I was really close (she raised me as a child), suffered a stroke and could not live on her own anymore. I took her in.
All that happened while I was pregnant with Carissa. Because of all this severe stress that I’ve been through, Carissa was not only a premie but was born with Down’s syndrome as well as chronic colitis. She is also missing fingernails on her right hand. She is in the hospital as well because she needs to be monitored 24/7. Right now I am at the lowest point of my life: I don’t have a job – taking care of three sick family members that are so dear to me is a full time job – I can’t afford to pay for my tiny appartment, my car got taken away because no payment, not to mention the debt with a hospital!
I know you are not obligated to do anything: you are free to delete this email without giving it a second thought, but please listen to the cry from mothers heart! We had worked out a deal with AOL where for every
Origins: This version of the “help a family in need by forwarding an
once again it’s a hoax. There is no comatose five-year-old victim of a hit-and-run accident, and no premature baby born with Down syndrome and chronic colitis as a result of the emotional stress her mother endured. It’s just another leg-pull, another chapter in the “Let’s see how many fools we can get to spam each other” game.
Although AOL is often named in these sorts of hoaxes as the benefactor standing by ready to ship monies to the desperate family on the basis of how many forwards are generated (e.g., the pleas of
Hoaxes such as these rely upon the recipient’s believing in bits of shopworn Internet fiction, such as the myth of a program for tracking
Therefore, bleed not your heart for this fictitious single mother of four and her ill-advantaged brood, nor forward “her” plea to others. Spare your friends.
Barbara “and thus keep them” Mikkelson
Last updated: 20 May 2006