A great open letter to Belle Gibson, who faked brain cancer and then set up a business promoting her healthy lifestyle cure:
Dear Belle Gibson,
I want you to know that I am angry with you. I’m not actually angry. I’m infuriated beyond belief.
You have just come out telling The Australian Women’s Weekly that you lied about having terminal brain cancer. As a patient who has gone through 15 brain surgeries, numerous angiograms, hundreds of blood tests and many MRI scans, how dare you make money by lying about a hardship that many Australians like myself have to go through every single day?
Do you even know what it’s like for someone to have brain problems? I do. I’m 21 and I’ve been through 15 brain surgeries to fix my brain condition, and I am still needing to have more surgery in the coming months. Each one of my surgeries has lasted on average seven hours.
Do you know how painful those seven hours are for my family and friends? They’re the ones that are sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, refreshing their Facebook news feed to keep them entertained during the ordeal and nervously biting on every little last bit of their cuticles while messaging people who want updates on how I am going. It makes my heart sink every time they’ve waited for me while I’m in surgery.
How dare you make money off these innocent people? I, like many others who suffer from a debilitating brain condition, bought your app, The Whole Pantry. I thought it would be good to try and make my lifestyle as healthy as possible. You said so yourself. You had terminal brain cancer. YOU survived, so I thought I could rid myself of illness as well. How idiotic I feel right now for believing you.
How dare you blame your lies on your rough start to life. You give your excuse that you had “a difficult upbringing.” Although I did not have a rough start, I went through many problems in my adolescence: depression, bullying and severe acne just to name a few. But you know what Belle? I got help from my counsellor and my doctor. And today I am in a much happier place, with some good antidepressants and acne cream to help me.
Gibson is a very disturbed and bad person. But she is not guilty alone. All those in the Australian and global media who accepted her claims without scrutiny and scepticism should also be apologising.