Madison Maddie Russo is the 19-year-old TikToker charged in GoFundMe cancer scam taking over $37,000 from hundred of donors who believed her when she told them she was battling pancreatic cancer and a tumor the size of a football wrapped around her spine; she is now facing a charge of theft employing deception.
In October 2022, Madison Maddoe Russo claimed she was diagnosed with leukemia, stage 2 pancreatic cancer and a tumor, the size of a football, that wrapped around her spine on February 10, 2022. Madison Russo added that doctors gave her an 11% survival rate for five years, but that changed after they allegedly discovered the enormous tumor on her spine, which she was told was inoperable.
It was early in the morning, and I had been anxiously awaiting these test results. My phone rang, and it said, ‘Iowa City Oncology.’ I stepped out of the classroom and took the call.
I was terrified, and I definitely still am. I was in shock. I didn’t think it could be true. I’m so young, and I wondered how this could happen. I went through all the emotions, and I was pretty numb.
I remember hanging up the phone, and I was a mess,” she told the Iowa news outlet last fall. “I was literally bawling, but somehow I ended up getting the courage to wipe away my tears and went back into class, which now, when I think about it, was pretty crazy.”
According to Fox News “She said in an interview with the North Scott Press on Oct. 18 that she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on Feb. 10, 2022, and with leukemia a few months later. She said doctors gave her a “slim 11% survival rate for five years” before discovering the spinal tumor. Russo said she still attended classes at St. Ambrose University, maintained a high GPA and interned at John Deere despite her claims of medical issues.”
“We can confirm the person in question has had no contact with the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation and has never spoken at any of our events,” a spokesperson for the charity said, according to Fox News.
Police investigators checked her medical records not, only they found she had never been diagnosed with cancer or tumors at any facility she claimed she had been, but also, after doing a house warrant, they found a brown bag containing ” medical supplies, an IV pole with a feeding pump filled with cotton swabs, a wig, and pills for nausea in a relative’s name.”