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Australian Wellness Blogger Conned Cancer Patients

Belle Gibson is a health and wellness blogger who has based her career of claims that, through the right nutrition, she was able to beat cancer. She was diagnosed in 2009 and told that she had 4 months to live. In line with her brand, she has published a cookbook titled The Whole Pantry and has created an app that focuses on the same thing. It is believed that she made over $1 Million combined, however, she was adamant that she was donating a lot of the proceeds to charity. More specifically, she promised that she was going to be donating 100% of a week of app sales to a young boy named Joshua Schwarz who had an inoperable tumor in the brain.

In 2015, in an interview with Australian Women’s Weekly, Gibson admitted that the claims that she had cancer were a fabrication for her brand. Worse than that, it was discovered that none of the money that she had made had been donated. To charity, or to the Schwarz family as she had previously promised. Furthermore, due to her large following and falsified story, it is reasonable to assume that she had misled real cancer patients into abandoning modern medicine in favor of the ‘cures’ that she had been preaching. She took advantage of those who may have been at the most vulnerable stage of their life and decided to make a profit from them.

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As expected, there was a backlash in the health community. Gibson had been a massive name, her app had been chosen to be modified for the then-upcoming apple smartwatch, and she definitely felt it. However, as stated by NowToLove, “her tears appear to be mostly for herself”. As a result, her case got brought to the federal court of Melbourne where Justice Mortimer further criticised her apology when she pointed out that “there’s certainly no evidence of contrition or remorse”.

Yet despite the severity of her situation, Belle Gibson has elected to miss out on countless of her court hearings. Choosing to not be present when the sentence was carried out. It was suggested by Mortimer that, should she be able to pay all these fines, that the proceeds would turn into donations for those that Gibson had manipulated and wronged.

According to ABC News, this is how the fines were distributed:

  • $90,000 for failing to donate proceeds from the sale of The Whole Pantry app, as publicly advertised

    $50,000 for failing to donate proceeds from the launch of The Whole Pantry app

    $30,000 for failing to donate proceeds from a 2014 Mothers Day event

    $90,000 for failing to donate other company profits

    $150,000 for failing to donate 100 percent of one week’s app sales to the family of Joshua Schwarz

It is believed that Gibson has a mental condition called “Munchausen syndrome” which is when an individual makes up illness for attention or sympathy. However, this does not take away from the despicable abuse of vulnerable mindsets and the notion that she may have caused some to neglect the procedures that had an actual chance to make them better.

Once again, her app and book are called “The Whole Pantry“.  If you have or use any of them in the hopes of curing cancer, please disregard any information that is presented within them.

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