Alexandra is a 9-year-old girl who is suffering from cancer (type not mentioned)and millions of dollars have been raised already for her.
If there’s one thing that makes me emotional, it is seeing children with cancer. I saw a lot of them during my Paediatric posting last year.
As medical students, we were taught to show empathy (not sympathy) toward patients. In case you don’t know the difference between the two, I’d help you with that.
Also Read: 5 Common Scams and How to Avoid Them
Sympathy is the ability to feel sorrow for someone’s condition, while empathy is the ability to relate to someone else’s condition as if you were experiencing them yourself.
Pretty easy right?
We medics learn a lot about patients’ conditions. This makes us understand what they are going through. This is why I understood Alexandra when I stumbled on the YouTube ad that told her story.
Alexandra Doesn’t Want to Die
Her dad came out of a meeting with the doctor who told him cancer had spread all over her body.
The doctor told him to ask her what dreams she wants to fulfill before the end.
“The only dream I want to fulfill is to continue living. I don’t want to say goodbye yet. I want to keep hugging my dad and mum. I want to grow up and return to school.”
That hit me!
Imagine telling a 9-year-old to prepare for the end. Damn!
This story was very emotional and I began to ask myself how I could help her.
She Needs Help to Live Longer
The general spread of the cancer meant one thing; all previous chemotherapy had failed. The only form of medical care she could receive at this point was palliative care.
Palliative care is the specialized medical care for people suffering from a terminal illness. This type of care focuses on relieving the symptoms and stress of the illness. The goal is to improve the patient’s and family’s quality of life.
With the palliative care ongoing, there is one last chance for Alexandra to get better and fulfill her dream. It is an expensive experimental treatment and her family can’t afford it. They need help. This led to the YouTube Ad.
In her words…
“I don’t want to die, please. My name is Alexandra and I have cancer. I’m afraid I might never come back home and I won’t see my family again. I miss my mom and my sister. I don’t want to die and leave them. My treatment costs a lot of money and my parents don’t have that kind of money. Please help me get well. Please. I don’t want to die.”
So what do you think?
Should we donate to save Alexandra?
I’ll say we don’t. Not at the moment.
A Well Played Scam?
It takes an extra eye to see beyond a scam especially when it is one that has to do with a child suffering from cancer. This is an intentional effort to get you to take action without any objections. After all, it’s just charity.
That’s what it is called, a charity scam. Charity scammers pose as legitimate charities and solicit donations or collect funds for relief efforts for people in distress.
Unfortunately, the organization — Netiv Halev — handling the call for donations for Alexandra is a scam. I reached this conclusion after some research.
I’m a very curious person. This has benefitted me in a lot of ways, especially in my personal development. This time it helped me identify what a good number of people must have overlooked.
When I saw the ad on YouTube, I was moved by Alexandra’s story that I had to click and check out the donation page. This was where I came across an attention-grabbing headline that got me to pause and read the page.
After reading the story and being emotionally controlled to make a donation, I came across this text on the web page that raised a lot of questions in my head.
At this point, I couldn’t go on with the donation until I had made a query about the organization.
The first thing I did was to go to the home page of the website. There was nothing substantial there. This was the only thing there.
Then I had to do a Google search to see if there was any credible information I could get on them. Guess what I found?
I found a Reddit conversation where this particular scam was being discussed.
Voila! My hunch paid off as I read the threads in the Reddit post.
I knew it was a scam!
It’s a Crazy World
The internet has given room for a lot of scammers to prey on the hard-earned money of individuals.
I feel more annoyed with these charity scams because they feed on the kindness and generosity of people while exploiting the health of a child.
That’s barbaric if you ask me.
However, if there’s any lesson I’d want you to learn from this issue of Expelessons, it has to be Research.
There’s this popular phrase: “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. This is what I always apply to myself until I have done my research.
Research can save you from a lot of mistakes.
Scams are everywhere now. Protect yourself. Protect your money.
What do you think about this Alexandra story and the charity scam?