Jonathan White is a fraud -- and other strange things

Many of you read my blog about Jonathan White last month. This is/was the 14-year-old boy who had a brain tumor. Well, Jonathan isn't . . . that is, Jonathan is evidently a woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder who I will refer to as Madam X from this point forward. I know. Right now you are wondering how someone this crazy could have fooled all the people she did, including a number of celebrities. I interviewed this person for the story I did on Spirit Jump, the group that connects cancer patients with people who want to make someone's life a little better by sending cards and gifts. I spent a half hour on the phone with this person, who sounded like a sick 14-year-old. I should have known he was a fake when he could complete a sentence without using the word "like." I am easy to fool because I am one of those people who still believes that everyone is basically good and tells the truth, and I still believe it. But this woman has done some real harm to the hearts and minds of a number of people, which is the only reason I want to offer what I know. It seems that Madam X was able to convince more than one cancer organization that she was, indeed, a child with a brain tumor. A number of the organizations showered her with gifts and money; they also talked to her parents on the phone. About 10 months ago Madam X contacted one organization and reached the heart of Gena, who worked there doing outreach. His story touched her and Gena became a one-person campaign to help. Her involvement can be found at http://jonthanjayisafraud.blogspot.com/.What you will learn on the blog is that this has now become a criminal investigation into fraud because Madam X received money in addition to gifts and cards. Last Sunday, Madam X sent Gena an e-mail that said, in essence, Jonathan is one of many spirits that lives in her body, and she let him out too much and things got out of control while he was looking for love in all the wrong places. She spoke in plurals as in, "we understand" and "our actions." Bizarre doesn't quite cover it. If it's true.So, what's the message here? In my 23 years of survivorship, I have come across and read about a few wackos who said they had cancer when they didn't–-an inconceivable idea to me. Those who do it to get attention or love are only sad, but those who do it to get money should be punished. I am sure there will be more details to come on Madam X, if indeed she is the ring leader of the house of spirits, but until then, if you were taken in by her and want to add to the list, there is an open police file in South Dakota. You can get the detail by going to the blog above. I do think this particular individual needs to be tracked down and locked up-–whether in a cell with bars or one that is padded will depend on what they find. Because whether or not Madam X is a pathetic person with multiple personality disorder--or a con artist--we know she is smart and can manipulate technology to respond as numerous people when the need arises. Many people talked to Jonathan, and Gena had conversations with his parents. And, if Madam X is totally a con artist, there is nothing to stop her from folding up her tent and moving to another place to begin her sideshow again. If she is what she says she is, I think we should feel very sad for Madam X that cancer was the only way this part of her psyche could get attention. But I wouldn't spend a lot of time on it since every day in this country 1,500 people die of cancer. There are millions of people living with cancer as I write this. Some are children with brain tumors--real children--who need the same love and attention given to Jonathan. Find one of them.Editor's Note: It is now Thursday, July 23, and this morning I had an e-mail that directed me to the press release released by Idaho law enforcement about a woman named Melissa Rice, who was Jonathan. Unfortunately, this story ended in tragedy. Rice was reported dead on Wednesday afternoon. She obviously was very sick and it's sad that her life has ended this way. I hope she has found peace.