Cancer charity ambassador ‘faked terminal diagnosis’

 

ONE of Australia's leading cancer ambassadors and an Australian of the Year nominee is alleged to have been faking her cancer.

The former Cancer Council Queensland employee, Amanda Power, 29, who claimed her cancer was terminal, has acted as a supporter of cancer patients, sharing her own story of survival and bonding over their common battle.

Ms Power is believed to have been Australia's first global ambassador at the American Cancer Society's cancer summit.

Ms Power visited the US to share her miraculous story of being diagnosed with uterine and ovarian cancer and melanoma.

Ms Power told of her ­cancer struggles in a mycause crowd-funding account, which has since been closed down. It is believed the account raised more than $12,000 with the last donation just last month.

After being contacted by The Courier-Mail yesterday, the Cancer Council Queensland chief executive Chris McMillan, who had previously been pictured with Ms Power, said that the alleged case of misrepresentation was "disheartening".

Amanda Power, 29, who claimed her cancer was terminal, has acted as a supporter of cancer patients, sharing her own story of survival and bonding over their common battle.
Amanda Power, 29, who claimed her cancer was terminal, has acted as a supporter of cancer patients, sharing her own story of survival and bonding over their common battle.

It is understood CCQ raised the issue with police yesterday and will continue to co-operate with relevant authorities. "If found to be substantiated, the real victims here are the 29,000 Queenslanders who are diagnosed with cancer each year and those in our community who have heard this misleading story and tried to assist," Ms McMillan said.

Ms Power began her relationship with Cancer Council Queensland in 2007 as a fundraiser and she went on to become an employee in 2014.

After advising that she had been diagnosed with cancer in 2017, she resigned from her employment in February this year.

In a statement to The Courier-Mail, the CCQ said that it was doing all it could to alert members of the public who had been impacted by the allegations.

"The person involved has been referred to the appropriate treatment she requires at this time,'' the statement said.

"Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by this false misrepresentation and all those who are truly impacted by a chronic disease," it said.

The CCQ has organised an employee assistance representative to provide support to their own employees who have worked closely with Ms Power.

"Cancer Council Queensland's mission is to reduce the burden of cancer.

"We support the cancer community with integrity, agility and a deep sense of belonging and encourage those who have been impacted by a cancer diagnosis to continue to reach out to us for support," the statement said.

Ms Power has been reported as saying her cancer journey began when she was just 20. She had been heavily involved in work for Relay for Life since 2005.

In a newspaper article in 2013, she was reported as saying: "Dying was the easy option", in relation to her battle.

 

Ms Power began her relationship with Cancer Council Queensland in 2007 as a fundraiser and she went on to become an employee in 2014.
Ms Power began her relationship with Cancer Council Queensland in 2007 as a fundraiser and she went on to become an employee in 2014.

 

Relay For Life is a chance for communities to recognise and celebrate those who have overcome cancer, or are undergoing treatment.

It also provides an opportunity to celebrate the ­memory of loved ones lost to cancer.

"Being a cancer survivor has taught me that as long as you are up for the challenge and as long as you never lose hope, you can survive cancer. Once you are a cancer survivor, you can do anything!" Ms Power told the Global Relay for Life Heroes of Hope magazine in 2012/2013.

"I may not be the genius who cures cancer, but I may very well raise the dollar that funds the researcher that does find the cure to this indiscriminate disease!"

She posted on her mycause.com.au fundraising page in August last year: "For me to be able to continue treatment as planned, I need my Power's Power Fund to reach 13,000 before 30th August".

"Any help would be so very appreciated and would mean I don't have to miss out on treatment."

A source who did not want to be identified told The Courier-Mail that Ms Power had many friends who were devastated by the allegations of deceit.

"Amanda has had a very big group of people around her offering her support and practical help throughout her journey," the source said.

"When someone says they have terminal cancer, of course, people rally around and give them all the help in the world and do things to brighten up their lives.

"Amanda uses crutches at times and I think I saw a ­picture of her with a bag of blood that looked like a blood transfusion.

"Cancer is a thing that hits so many families and it is a terrible, cruel disease."



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