Among the (many) confusing things about the ongoing saga of Manti Te'o's fake dead girlfriend, the similarities between the real life of Te'o-deceiver Ronaiah Tuiasosopo and the false narrative he created have especially muddled the facts. Two turning points in the faked narrative: "Lennay Kekua" was involved in a car accident in 2012 that left her "on the brink of death," and Kekua died of leukemia. Two turning points in Tuiasosopo's life, one of which we knew when we first published—that Tuiasosopo himself had been in a major car accident—and one which USA Today uncovered yesterday: Tuiasosopo's real life cousin, Jazmine Lutu, is indeed a "beautiful young woman" in her early 20s, currently battling leukemia. As in Kekua's story, she received a bone marrow transplant.
However, if the widely reported timelines are to be believed in this instance (a big if), the strange part is not that Tuiasosopo pulled a fact from his real life to embellish his story. That would be relatively banal, all things considered. The strange part is that a story Tuiasosopo made up appears to have come true for his cousin two months after the lie.
You'll recall this portion of the Lennay Kekua timeline, in which it's discovered—that is to say, conveyed to Te'o and his parents, who subsequently relayed the story to reporters—that Kekua has leukemia: