“I’m pretty nervous,” read the Facebook update posted by Ashley Lively on January 18. “Today I start hardcore chemo treatment for the next 4 weeks.” It was a heartbreaking plea from a 20-year-old Tennessee woman with her entire life ahead of her facing certain death from pancreatic cancer, and the community of Sweetwater rallied for her with T-shirt sales and chili cookoffs and virtual passings of virtual hats. That is, until the entire thing unraveled and revealed itself to be one big lie.
“I am so blessed to live in such an amazing, caring community!!” wrote Ashley on January 27. By April, her lie would be found out and the community would be left reeling, wondering how they got caught up in this young woman’s web of lies.
“People who didn’t have money to give gave to her,” said one neighbor duped by Lively’s ruse.
It seems Lively was so caught up in her own lie that she found the time and energy to post about how angry fake people make her, posting on her now-defunct Facebook page back in January:
Even the Sheriff’s Department fell for it:
And now, the whole ruse has collapsed.
An East Tennessee woman has been indicted for theft by a grand jury after she raised $8,000 to treat cancer she didn’t have.
Investigators say Ashley Lively lied about having cancer when creating a GoFundMe account. The truth came to light when someone contacted the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office wondering how a supposedly-sick Lively had gone on vacation to Florida.
According to the indictment, Lively received control of the “Ashley’s Fight Against Cancer” GoFundMe account “without effective consent” and intended to take the money.
Lively told Local 8 back in April after she got busted that she wished she could take it back. But never really gave a reason for why she duped an entire community — and countless more strangers on GoFundMe — into giving her thousands to live this lie of terminal cancer.
“I don’t know why I came up with that, I just did,” she said. “But I just — like I said, that was my cry for help to my family.”
“Guys remember she 20 years old and going through that she needs all the help and support she can get and if it was your family or friend you would want as much help as you could get please give all that you can if it’s $3 or $5 dollars whatever you can she could use it and just remember God will bless you 10 times fold thank you,” wrote one unsuspecting neighbor on Facebook.
Ashley Lively was booked on a theft charge and made $5000 bail.