Debunking email hoaxes and exposing Internet scams since 2003!

Hoax-Slayer Logo Hoax-Slayer Logo

Home    About    New Articles    RSS Feed    eBook    Contact
Bookmark and Share

Kayla Wightman Charity Hoax

Email claims that the Make A Wish Foundation will donate money to help pay the medical bills of 15-year-old Kayla Wightman every time the message is sent to other people (Full commentary below.)


Example:(Submitted, July 2005)
Hi my name is Kayla Wightman. I am 15 years old, and I have a severe lung cancer from second hand smoke. I also have a large tumor in my brain, from repeated beatings. 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 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, what goes around comes around. Have a heart, please. If you don't send this to everyone on your list you have a cold heart (Kayla Wightman.) copy do not forward

The information in this email forward is completely untrue. The Kayla Wightman described in the message is not a real person. This hoax email is a mutation of another equally untrue chain email that asks recipients to help pay the medical bills of 7-year-old Amy Bruce. In fact there are a number of variations of this hoax that use different names and ages for the dying child. All of them are hoaxes and should be disregarded.

The Make A Wish Foundation is certainly not donating money every time one of these ridiculous emails is sent to other people. The Make a Wish Foundation, or any other legitimate charity, would never participate in a charity scheme based on how many times a particular email is forwarded. Such claims are simply absurd. Any message that claims a company or organization will donate money based on how many times an email is forwarded is almost certainly a hoax. Even in the vastly unlikely event that a legitimate organization did agree to participate in such a scheme, there would be no reliable way to keep track of how many emails were sent.

The Make A Wish Foundation has denounced these charity hoaxes on its website.

Hoaxes such as these do nothing more than cause trouble for our charitable organizations. Charities such as the Make A Wish Foundation have to devote valuable resources to answering queries about their supposed involvement. If you receive one of these hoax emails, please do not forward it to others. Please also let the original sender know that the email is a hoax.

Write-up by Brett M.Christensen