Jonathan Jay White is a 15-year-old with brain cancer whose devotion to the Livestrong credo caught the attention of Lance Armstrong and several generous donors. The grifter who invented "Jonathan Jay White" will soon catch the attention of federal authorities.
According to Britain's Sky News, Armstrong "enjoyed chatting online to Jonathan" and last week tweeted a message of support. People reportedly donated to the teen's family, and a Livestrong campaigner, Gena Solar, was set to visit the boy in Arizona recently when she learned it was a "well planned scam." Her account skimps on details about how the fraud was exposed, but does suggest it was all elaborately planned:
I do Community Outreach for the CancerClimber Association. ... I do admin on a couple of sites we have set up and "Jonathan" sent in a message. I first viewed his site that was loaded with pictures of a young boy, some healthy and some with cancer which also told his story. It was linked to a blogspot that we were all told was set up by his family where the parents updated often. There was no reason to NOT believe this kid had cancer. After viewing his pages I then started correspondence with him. Messages giving him HOPE and just trying to lift his spirits. I then introduced him to my network of young adult cancer survivors and he started to join many groups that I was not even aware of until now.
Before any correspondence was exchanged I had told him I needed written permission from his parents and I got it. An email set up as his Father saying it was okay for Jonathan to contact me. I also received phone numbers and via that route text messages from the father. After that time I got his address and sent out a packages of LIVESTRONG Bands, a LIVESTRONG Notebook and Lances Book.
Over the past 10 months I and many people have talked to Jonathan on the phone and sent packages. I received packages back with hand written notes and gifts that I now know were ultimately bought by other people. "Jonathan" told me a long story of lies about how his Dad lost his job, his Mom was out of the picture and they were struggling financially. So my heart broke for them. And it goes on from there.
My Twitter Account was set up for Jonathan. He was on way before I was and his story got out and before I got on he was at approximately 10,000 followers. I then allowed him to help me get on and dove right into everything that was going on. He was not my child that is why I never referred to him as my son, but "my kiddo." He sent me a gift on Mothers Day that was a necklace with his name & D.O.B along with my daughther's name and told me I was the Mother he never had. That is when he came up with the RAD FAMILY hence RadMom, RadSis, etc... And I could go on.
"Jonathan" was supposed to have brain surgery this week in Arizona, and Solar writes that she was "packed and ready to go" when she "received the email stating it was all a lie." Word of the hoax quickly reached Armstrong, who on Monday called it "seriously disturbing news." Meanwhile, Jonathan Jay's Blogger profile is still up. On it, "Jonathan" writes, "I love learning & plan on becoming a surgeon & performing medical miracles with my mind," which, in a way, he did. He created a teenage cancer patient who could leverage the sympathies of a famous athlete and a vast grassroots fundraising network, all with his mind. Livefake.