13-Year-Old Was Led To Believe He Was Dying Of Cancer, Parents Charged With Child Abuse


A Florida couple has been charged with multiple crimes after convincing their young son that he was dying of cancer so that they could collect money for donations.

The eight-month ordeal, which began in May of 2017 ended last Thursday, Feb. 1, when the couple was arrested in their home.

Fundraisers For Dawson

Since May 2017, 13-year-old Dawson Long has believed that he was slowly dying of terminal brain cancer. His parents have since been open to posting about his supposed ordeal on Facebook and they even set up fundraisers to help pay for his medical bills. Just a few days after Christmas of 2017, Dawson's mother, Ginny Long, even posted about how doctors have previously informed them that their son might not even make it to Christmas day.

Investigations on Dawson's case began last November after suspicions of fraud were raised by the School Resource Officer program. According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, there were suspicions that the claim might be fake and that the couple had been using their child's cancer diagnosis for financial gain. For instance, the couple set up a T-shirt fundraiser at his school, shared the supposed diagnosis openly on Facebook, and even made a GoFundMe page for the boy.

No Tumor And No Cancer

Evidently, Dawson's medical records revealed that he did not actually have cancer and that the supposed brain tumors do not exist. They even noted that Dawson looked quite healthy in his photographs.

When investigators talked to Dawson about his supposed sickness, he said that his mother told him last May 2017 that he was going to die of brain cancer. He also said that it scared him and that did not like talking about it.

Last Thursday, Dawson's parents were arrested and charged with one count of child abuse and nine counts of fraud.

Another Victim Of Fraud?

Interestingly, Dawson's father, Robert Long, stated that he, too, was a victim of fraud. According to him, he had no idea that his wife was "crazy enough to make this up." So far, there is no word on the progress of the case, and on the state of Dawson.

This isn't the first time that anyone has faked a sickness for personal gain. In 2016, a Seattle woman who raised $400,000 as a cancer survivor eventually admitted to never having cancer, to begin with.

Similarly, a celebrity health blogger, whose claim to fame was her story of how she survived cancer thanks to alternative remedies, was revealed to have faked her sickness all along.

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