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Cancer Society chain-letter hoax

technofile  by al fasoldt

Columns and commentaries in a life-long dance with technology
 

Simple gray rule


Cancer Society chain-letter hoax
 

June 17, 1997

This was sent by Lil3rthqks@aol.com.

Mr. Fasoldt:

Thanks for the article in today's Stars; I'm just as determined as you are to rid the world of chain letters! while we're on the subject, I also think you should bring your readers' attention to another chain letter. This snippet from an American Cancer Society bulletin should say it all:

The American Cancer Society is greatly disturbed by reports of a fraudulent chain letter circulating on the internet which lists the American Cancer Society as a "corporate sponsor" but which has in no way been endorsed by the American Cancer Society. This letter appears to have started on America Online but has now spread well beyond the online service. There are several variations of this letter in circulation. The text of the original message reads as follows:

"Little Jessica Mydek is seven years old and is suffering from an acute and very rare case of cerebral carcinoma. This condition causes severe malignant brain tumors and is a terminal illness. The doctors have given her six months to live.

As part of her dying wish, she wanted to start a chain letter to inform people of this condition and to send people the message to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment, a chance that she will never have.

Furthermore, the American Cancer Society and several corporate sponsors have agreed to donate three cents toward continuing cancer research for every new person that gets forwarded this message. Please give Jessica and all cancer victims a chance.

If there are any questions, send them to the American Cancer Society at acs@aol.com."

As far as the American Cancer Society can determine, the story of Jessica Mydek is completely unsubstantiated. No fundraising efforts are being made by the American Cancer Society in her name or by the use of chain letters. Furthermore, the email address ACS@AOL.COM is non-existent. Any messages to the American Cancer Society should be instead sent through the American Cancer Society web site at http://www.cancer.org, or to our active AOL screen name, ACSNatl@aol.com.

This particular chain letter with its heartbreaking story appears to have struck an emotional chord with online users. Although we are very concerned that the American Cancer Society's name has been used to manipulate the online public, we applaud the good intentions of all who participated in this letter.

We are pleased to note that there are so many caring individuals out there and hope that they will find another way to support cancer research. Jessica Mydek's story, whether true or false, is representative of that of many cancer patients who benefit daily from the efforts of legitimate cancer organizations nationwide.

Thank you for assisting us in the spreading word of this information.

Also, people should be aware that all chain letters are illegal because they clog up the mail systems. If they want to pass on a joke or poem attached to multiple forwards, they can copy and paste onto a new letter.

Thank you for your time!


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