Fooled school: Taking advantage of good intentions (Updated)

School community fooled by leukemia hoax.

When Jayden Mosness first heard about the plight of 10-year-old Alexander Jordan, he and his classmates wanted to help.

Mosness says the entire school community thought Alexander was dying of leukemia. The story spread around town that he wanted to see an Eagle Valley football game, so the school dedicated their October 26 game to the little boy.

But, Mosness says students were told that that the boy died the day before the game.

“He was going to do the coin toss for the beginning of the game,” Mosness said.

The problem is police say the boy never existed. Eagle Police are now investigating 22-year-old Briana Augustenborg for spreading the fake story of Alexander. There was even a Facebook page created which had detailed diary of Alexander’s experiences in the hospital and his bout with leukemia. The pictures posted of Alexander were apparently taken from a cancer website, according to the Vail Daily Newspaper.

Even when we least expect that we are being taken, we could be taken. This is a sad reminder that we need to apply skepticism to all areas of our lives.


UPDATE: (15-Nov-2012) NY Times has a story on this:

It was all an inexplicable ruse, according to people who unraveled it, a fiction concocted by a 22-year-old woman who had worked with one of the football parents. There was no sick child. There had never been any Alex. The photo that had tugged at people’s hearts, of a bald boy with a shaky smile, had been pulled from the Web site of a cancer foundation.

The police investigated, but are unlikely to press charges because the woman, Briana Augustenborg, never tried to raise money using Alex’s story. She could not be reached for comment on her Facebook page, and she has said nothing in public about the hoax, leaving a baffled and betrayed town to wonder at her motives.

  4 comments for “Fooled school: Taking advantage of good intentions (Updated)

  1. November 5, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Another internet medical hoax from some time back:

  2. November 5, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Yeah, that’s probably the most well known medical hoax from the internet because it went on for so long.

  3. One Eyed Jack
    November 6, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Economics Teacher: Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

    Simone: Um, he’s sick. My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.

    -Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986

Comments are closed.