by BRIANNA SICILIANO Staff Writer
Susan Stillwaggon, mother of four from Camden, New Jersey, was charged with theft by deception, forgery, endangering the welfare of a child, and using a juvenile to commit a criminal offense after taking hundreds of dollars from family and friends and claiming that her son was ill with cancer.
According to the police, Stillwaggon not only convinced her family and friends, but her son as well.
Stillwaggon used her Facebook page to spread the news and tell people that her nine-year-old son had stage-3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Police have verified through the young boy’s medical records that the child does not have cancer.
Camden parents teamed up to raise money for the “ill” young boy. From selling homemade jewelry and cupcakes to hosting a bingo night, they raised money for the child’s medical bills, or so they thought.
Police are still calculating exactly how much money was involved in the scheme.
This is not the first case involving a parent lying about their child’s health.
In 2010, an unemployed Michigan mother lied about her 12-year-old son having cancer in order to steal charitable cash raised for him.
Carol Lynn Schnuphase, the 47-year-old mother, shaved her son’s head and eyebrows every other week. She even crushed up drugs to put into his applesauce to make him look lethargic.
Schnuphase accepted thousands of dollars in donations for his treatment, including money from individuals, groups, and members of a church who believed the money went toward the child’s medical care and gifts for him as he went through chemotherapy.
A hospital tested the boy and declared that he did not have cancer, but that he was going through symptoms of withdrawal from the drugs he consumed.
After police removed young 12-year-old Schnuphase from his home, his mother told doctors that her son had died and she needed money to pay for his funeral.
Schnuphase was charged with two counts of fraud and with a count of second-degree child abuse.
Both Schnuphase and Stillwaggon are mentally ill. What kind of mother lies about their child having an illness as serious cancer?
“I can’t believe a mother would lie about their child having cancer. Everytime I see a St. Jude’s commercial I feel like crying, and lying about something as serious as cancer? That is sick,” said sophomore Hiral Patel.
Cancer is not something to joke about. Millions of people die from cancer each year, and lying about someone having cancer is disgusting.
It is not only terrible that Stillwaggon lied about her child’s health status, but also that her son will most likely be traumatized.
At nine-years-old, young Stillwaggon not only has to deal with the fact that his mother lied to him about being sick, but now his mom has been taken away from him.
Being the young age that he is, it will be hard for him to go on day after day without his mother, someone who spent the most time with him since birth.
Susan Stillwaggon has been in the hospital receiving psychiatric treatment and has not been arrested as of yet.
“I hope she gets locked up in jail. She doesn’t deserve to be in that poor little boy’s life. There are some messed up people in this world,” said an anonymous student.
What kind of mother makes something like this up?