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Brian David Make A Wish Hoax Email

Summary:
Email forward claims that every time the message is sent to others, the Make-A-Wish Foundation will donate money to help a sick youngster called Brian David (Full commentary below).



Status:
False

Example:(Submitted April 2007)
Subject: 17 yr old with Cancer (this child is local)

Hi, my name is brian david. I am 17 years old, and I have a large tumor on my brain and severe lung cancer. The doctors say I will die soon if this isn't fixed, and my family can't pay the bills. "The Make A Wish Foundation" has agreed to donate 7 cents for every time this message is sent on. For those of you who send this along, I thank you so much. But for those who don't send it, I will still pray for you. Please, if you are a kind person, have a heart.

Please, please, PLEASE HIT THE FORWARD BUTTON.

byan david




Commentary:
This message claims that the Make-A-Wish Foundation will donate 7 cents to help 17 year old cancer sufferer Brian David every time the email is forwarded. However, this claim is totally untrue. The message is just one more in a long line of very similar hoaxes that target the Make-A-Wish Foundation. From time to time, a new version of the message begins circulating that substitutes a different name for the sick child that is supposedly the recipient of the charity. Names used in previous versions include Amy Bruce, Kayla Wightman, Chad Briody, Bryan Warner, Matt Dawson and a number of others.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has denounced these hoaxes on its website and asks that recipients do not forward them. The Foundation notes:
The time and expense required to respond to these inquiries distracts the Foundation from its efforts on behalf of children with life-threatening medical conditions, and more importantly, can divulge information that is potentially harmful to a child and his or her family.
In fact, no charitable organization is ever likely to participate in an absurd fund-raising scheme based on how many times a particular email is forwarded. There is simply no logical or moral motivation for basing how much money is to be ultimately donated to a cause on the totally random travels of an email message. Moreover, there is no reliable or ethical method of tracking the journey of such an email, so the amount to be donated could never be accurately calculated. Any email that claims that money will be donated every time the message is forwarded is almost certainly a hoax.

Messages like these are among the vilest of hoaxes. They prey on our natural desire to help out a young person with serious health problems. Recipients tend to respond on an emotive level to such messages and are therefore more likely to hit the "Forward" button without too much forethought.

If you receive this or a similar message, please delete it without sending it onward and let the sender know that the message is a hoax.

References:
Make-A-Wish Foundation: Chain Letters
Charity Hoaxes

Last updated: 16th April 2007
First published: 16th April 2007

Write-up by Brett M.Christensen