Pity play: Faking cancer to raise money

For years, Martha Nicholas, 42, of Mechanicsville, Virginia, has been telling everyone, including her children, that she has cancer. Fundraisers were held to help her pay for her treatment. Except there was no treatment, because Nicholas allegedly never had cancer. Her attorney says she has a “mental illness.”

Read Martha Nicholas, 42, arrested after allegedly faking cancer to raise money, on HuffingtonPost.com.

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47 Comments on "Pity play: Faking cancer to raise money"

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Yea she has a mental illness for sure, and the ONLY TREATMENT IS MONEY!!! It is the ULTIMATE GREED.

I know folks like this, the most descriptive semi-medical term for it I think is psychopath.

What a piece of scum floating on the cesspool of life, this woman actually makes me laugh, but I imagine the people who “donated” to her aren’t laughing, and are quite angry, as well they should be.

I hope she does some serious jail time for this, and while she’s there Karma bites her in the butt! (Yea, I know that’s not the way real karma does but I wish it would anyway!)

Just goes to show how easy it is to deceive …. And be believed. Sickening. Can’t imagine how her poor family must be feeling.

Mental illness?
Pre meditated, conniving, GREEDY.


spath has faked cancer, fatal heart disease, mental illness (none that she actually has), PTSD, being raped and physically abused for decades, etc.

cancer fakers – everywhere….


They do it for the attention as much as the money. It’s the ultimate pity ploy. Remember what Martha Stout said about the pity ploy: that’s how you know it’s a spath.


good morning sky – there are a number of young people (as in teens) who do this on social media sites – they also pretend to die (aka death bloggers). I learned about deathbloggers when i started looking for who the effing spath was.

are all these teens spaths?

some blogs are very good at sussing them out and dealing with them (live journal is amazing at finding them and dealing with them). some don’t give a f*** and do nothing (the one i met the spath on.)

good morning one,
I’ve heard of death bloggers but never knew what they were. Thanks for the info.










look, stars above me in the sky!

oh my * ****** ** **** *** ************


hens, don’t be bragging about being able to see more stars, because you live in the boonies! (ps – sky and i were sharing sex secrets while the rest of you were still asleep. 😉 )

During her senior year in high school, my P/daughter told her best friends she was dying of AIDS. Told them not to talk to me about it because I was too upset to discuss it.
They spent 6 months helping her plan her funeral, picking out burial sites, meeting her after fake doctor’s appointments for lunch, etc.

Finally a new student (boy) came to her school. She wanted to date him. He told her he could not date a girl with AIDS, it would be too emotionally difficult. She pulled out a Red Cross card showing she had donated blood recently to prove she did not have AIDS, said it was a cruel joke that her friends were playing on her.

I found out when one of her friends called me and asked if spathy had AIDS.

milo, i am sorry you have a daughter like that, sounds like her little lie backfired on her, how sick and how stupid was that.
there are lot’s of guys who intentionally seek out hiv positive guys for unproctected sex hoping to get infected, they are called ‘bug chasers’s’..dont know if they do this for attention or a free ride, both i guess

Thanks Hens ~ it never ceases to amaze me what some people will do for attention.

When I asked her WHY she had done such a thing, she said, two of her friends had gone to the mall without her and she wanted to teach them a lesson. Unfortunately, this is the way she goes through life. Total WOO – WASTE OF OXYGEN !!

woo – i used to have a woo friend that told his wealthy parents he had aids, he profited from that lie until his parents death and then cheated and stole his brother out of any inheritance, have not seen him in 10 years but i bet he is stoned and 300lbs and still blaming his parents for being fat and bald..woo woo

I would think faking a fatal illness is like really tempting fate. Have you ever tried to call in sick at work without really being sick? Within the next couple of days, you usually end up being sick for real.

Hi Milo,

I decided to give you your goat back…


This type of pity ploy is really the epitome of spathticity because it is a blatant attack on a normal person’s compassion. Compassion is the sacred bond that ties humanity. Without it we would be like worse than insects.
Mega Red flag.

Google: Hipster Grifter for a disgusting story of one of these.

Or don’t, if you don’t want to read about a bottom sucking slug.

Sky ~ thanks, I was missing the little dickens. You know I really do have goats, boar goats. They are the sweetest things, especially the babies. One year we had a herd of over 100 and a dozen or more were having babies the same day. Grand was running around with a baby goat under each arm yelling, OK who belongs to who. He was so worried they would get confused.

I will check out Hipster Grifter – daughter calls herself an “urban hipster”. WTF, she was raised on a farm.

Aw skylar I really like that, “compassion is the sacred bond that ties humanity”
Profound. your posts are very to the heart.

that sounds so adorable, Grand trying to organize the goats!

I hope you got a picture.

Thank you for the compliment. As we get older we figure out what’s important. The spaths did provided us with some valuable lessons anyway.

I’m so glad you’re here and sharing what you’ve learned too. This way we can all benefit from each others’ encounters with evil and perhaps save each other from any more “lessons”.


Yes it’s the ultimate pity ploy – but I think spaths play up weaknesses because of the way it amps up the relationship – other people aren’t merely kind to the spath, they are GENEROUS and FORGIVING, on steroids, when it seems something is awry.

Drama rama.


and what a lesson it was. I have kinda been reflecting on my lesson,,at first it was so perfect, to good to be true, it was to easy, he was everything I had ever dreamed of, he wanted what I wanted, liked what i liked..life was so good, it was like an ilusion.. it was to easy..
then the thrill became a chill.
what happened to me? where did I go? how did this happen? i tried so hard, bent over backwards to keep the illusion alive..but it was dead..nothing but drama and chaos..how can i fix this? how can i end this.? how can i let go of him? ..when i literaly could not go any lower and there was no one there to save me I saved myself…lesson is so much to do about me..but I will never understand what i found so alluring about him or why i am still curious about him..and why do i still play the what if game when it was so obvious he was out to destroy me..

Love Hens. Love is why you question yourself. And that’s a normal human emotion.

Hens, you are so right in what you posted.

Me too. It was too perfect. And so, goes the saying, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

I bent over backwards too, to the point that I gave up MYSELF.

I think you and I are both on the upward swing. I’m prioritizing myself over him. My curiosity is facing away – I know that while what he does may change, who he *IS* will not change. And I’m drawn to goodness, not to evil.

HUGS to you, Hens.


Hens, I can tell you why I hooked up with the P (now X) BF….it was because after my husband died I was so needy, so alone, so feeling so low, so unwanted, so old, so ugly, so “everything” that I decided that the only thing that would “save” me was to have another relationship. If someone else loved me I would be OK. Well, that isn’t the way it works…but at first (like you) it seemed wonderful, so great! We wanted the same things, we liked the same things, and it was paradise…but then the pain began, the wondering, the worrying, the trying to keep him happy, then to make him happy, and somewhere in the mix I lost myself.

Only when the pain became too bad and I finally kicked him to the curb (there by ripping out my heart and soul) was I able to start to heal.

I think my relationshit to him is the only one with a psychopath that I have completely gotten over 110%, there rest of them have left a “residue” of scar tissue that because he wasn’t a long term thing (only 8 months) and I hadn’t actually married the creep, I have finally let go of any residual pain or regret over him. I really have totally reached the “nirvana of indifference” with him.

I come close with the others, the family members, but then it seems I will “fall back” into regrets, wishes, etc. and then I dig myself out again, and do okay for a while. So I think the SIGNIFICANT relationships we ahve that are with disordered people are the ones that are the hardest to totally reach and stay in “indifference” with them.

Of course holidays sometimes raise the thresholds of remembering the Ghosts of Christmas passed. Or is it Past?

“generous and forgiving on STEROIDS.” What a perfect analogy for what we become in the company of spaths. That’s exactly it.

If we can’t see, or aren’t sure about the red flags which other people present to us, at least we can be sure of what we see in ourselves. When we become generous and forgiving on STEROIDS, we know we’re in trouble.

Oxy , it’s just the opposite for me, I have reached the nirvanna of indifference with the blood spaths, the lovespath seems to linger in my mind, and yes it will be 4 years next spring.. I am truly disgusted with myself that he has so much space in my head, even with all the boinkin you have done he seems to rattle his chains still…but I have come a long way…i do function well and i do have a better sense of self and peace of mind than even before him..but still..

i think the only reason the memory of him still jerks your chain once in a while is the same reason mine tweeks me, ya want the good part. nuttin wrong with that ‘cept SISTA Katy wishes you’d stop avoiding and get movin into fishin territory! My friend lives in the west,…. West Hollywood that is! And IT’s like snagging FISH IN THE BARREL season there! He’s not available but he knows plenty who are and he’s not much younger than you are. (he’s a nurse.)

Unable to log in yesterday I reported comments as abusive in hopes that what is supposed to be a helpful forum be reminded of that. The comments on this particular woman and her cancer charade are abusive, derogatory and some have gone as far as to diagnose this woman.
The comments on that web site are appalling to me not that I condone in any way what she has done but it made me wonder who are actually the sick ones.
Yes I had my ordeal with a sociopath, that’s why I am here. In fact my pain is still quite real. As much as I want to lash out at someone or anyone I have to take the higher path and be aware every step I take I could slip on this rough terrain and be down at the bottom again.
I use my real name so that I may be held accountable and to show I am real, I won’t hide behind inane user names with a silly avatar on web sites to spew vitriol and where people’s lives are in the balance. We are presumed innocent until that time a court rules and even then sometimes the court gets it wrong.

Bob, I’m very sorry if you are offended that we don’t “wait for a court of law” to declare her guilty when the evidence is presented enough that she has been indited, it isn’t so “apparent” in every case, but in any case, this is NOT a court of law, we will NOT be on the jury that either convicts her or discharges her because the prosecution has failed to present enough evidence to convict her before a jury of 12 of her peers.

This is a forum to discuss the various activities that seem to indicate that a person is high in psychopathic traits. As for us “diagnosing” her as a psychopath, again, I might point out that though some of us actually have professional training in mental health it is IMPOSSIBLE to “diagnose” someone over the internet or with just the information from a news article, and again, that said, since we are not employed to give a legal “medical diagnosis” about her mental status, we are free to discuss what we see as HIGH PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS in the behavior of pretending to have cancer and using that as a “pity ploy” to raise money from your friends and strangers to help you with “medical expenses” that don’t exist.

The term “psychopath” and “sociopath” actually do not have a definition in the DSM-V, the term closest is “Anti-Social Personality disorder.” But again, I remind you that this is NOT a clinical site to determine clinical psychology, but a support group for people who have been damaged by people who act to fit the UNOFFICIAL LIST OF TRAITS OF A PSYCHOPATH/SOCIOPATH.

If you find this kind of site unhelpful, and our comments on this particular woman “abusive, derogatory, and diagnostic” then you are quite invited to take your healing to a site on which you find more support and understanding. There are many sites out there, both religious based and otherwise. You might google “sociopathic support groups” and find one. Good day.

Reported troll alert.

Good day!

Ox you crack me up
Towanda girl.

Dear Strongawoman,

Glad I crack you up! LOL I even crack myself up sometimes and I can talk tongue in cheek! Sometimes it gets lost in the translation when it is online, but other times, it comes across pretty well.

Have a great day! 🙂

Hens, do you ever ask yourself why you do still think about your ex and why still curious? Or what might be preventing you from completely letting go?

If I wanted to at any time, I could call my spath’s platoon sergeant (who had become a personal friend at one point) and just ask her what happened to him. I finally got to a point of indifference where I really did not want to know. I could care less. He is just another experience I had once – there is no longer an emotional charge. I can even stumble on his old pictures with no emotional reaction whatsoever.

I think if your ex still rents space in your head and emotions, there may still be some healing to do around it. Sometimes time itself heals, but sometimes it calls for something more proactive – asking ourselves the “why” questions and waiting for the deepest, truest answer.

time is a big factor. If you were with someone for any length of time, it makes a difference.

Additionally, Hens was really in love with the spath, he even bought him a new set of teeth!

I was the same way with mine. I expected to be with him forever. we were “soulmates” (puke). I am “over” my spath, but he still haunts my dreams sometimes and I do get a visceral reaction to his pictures, emails and voice recordings. I only save them for when I start to think that none of it was real and I have to remind myself that I’m not crazy, it really did happen.

I partly agree, Sky. I think healing is partly a result of time, and partly a result of being proactive and examining your thoughts, beliefs, and motivations. I know people who hold on to grief for many many years – their whole lives in fact. There needs to be a balance. And certainly if you believe you will not be able to heal without putting in your time of many years, then that will be true.

I also think that in the dimension of healing, time does not really exist. It can happen in a nano-second. I have been criticized here for giving advice when I was with my spath for such a short period of time. But another way to look at it is that I could have easily chosen to spend many years of my life with that spath. There were certain proactive things I did, certain thoughts, certain beliefs on my part, and certain decisions that got me in, out, and on with my life. These are the thought processes I like to share with others, for what they’re worth. Because I also thought this guy was my soulmate, and I was at the brink of suicide over him. Next to the death of my Siamese, it was the single most painful thing I ever went through.

You start out with “I’m very sorry” and end with “you are quite invited to take your healing to a site on which you find more support and understanding”. In between I found nothing to indicate that you are sorry at all nor anything to indicate you are professionally trained. (As you said somebody here is or might be. I believe a professional would use their name and level of degree)
I stated only that I found this thread to be less than a guide to moving on and more like a witch hunt. Read through it and if you cannot agree with me at any level then I will be more than happy to leave it, and you can praise yourself for being the ideal moderator.
I would be loathe to recommend this forum to anyone that has been damaged by a self-absorbed individual much like yourself. (That is an example of name-calling and it probably did not sit well with you and that is my point)
I would like to know if you read the comments on the site that was linked or not. If so and you found nothing there that smacked of mob-mentality, hatred and ignorance then I would have to say you do not belong on this or any other site posing as a healer. You are leaning toward vindictive instigator.
If you would like to post your credentials I would be eager to know what degrees you hold pertinent to the subject of this website. It was mentioned and it is possible that Munchhausen could be what is wrong with this woman. Are you throwing stones at the sufferers of that disorder as well?
Point me to the healing here.
No need to recommend web sites to me as I find your manner to be condescending and glib as well as your off-putting grandiosity Not the traits of an altruistic person but of another type of personality…

Sky and Star, I think “time” is relatively different in different circumstances. If you are waiting for something to happen, time goes slowly. I think time is also different for us at different stages in our lives. When I was a kid, summer was VERY LONG, now it goes by in a flash. “The days go slowly and the years go fast.”

How long it takes for us to heal depends on a lot of different variables, including how much we work at the healing, how much support we have and what else is going on in our lives at the same time.

Oh, BTW…


Though I’m not attached to my ex-spath anymore, I know I still let the guy from Costa Rica rent space in my head from time to time. I have had ample time to grieve him, and I know I need to be more proactive about this. For me, the close connection felt like a marriage (as it did with the spath). But since the CR guy is not a spath, I didn’t kick him out of my head so easily because I still had a glimmer of hope. It is MY choice to hold onto him. I can’t say that time will heal because it’s been long enough. I have to energetically disconnect from him, and that takes a concerted effort. I’m at about 95%, so the 5% is not troublesome enough for me to be proactive about. I have moved on and am enjoying dating right now. But I still find myself comparing men to him (and also to other past lovers).

I honestly don’t know how you know when it’s time to work at letting go or when to just let be. I don’t think there’s a formula or magic time period. But I believe that everyone knows their own answers deep down if they have the courage to look and to ask.

I agree, Star, it is individual in how we know “when” to let go…..and I think there are many many different considerations in each situation, and for us as individuals in that situation. Bottom line is that each of us has to do it ourselves.

I know that in situation A I have let go, and am indifferent, completely, but in situation B I can easily be upset if I were to see that person, but in situation C I feel completely different than A or B, so why the differences? I think it is because of a different closeness in each relationship, as well as the amount of time/effort I spent in that relationship, and how badly they hurt me to start with.

In relationships where we spent little time, didn’t have much in the way of expectations and they didn’t really hurt us rather than just being something we didn’t expect….it is EASY to emotionally kick them to the curb. Like the woman in the article where the investment banker wanted the second date and she didn’t. I doubt that she worried or was hurt or cared a flip what the jerk thought! He may very well have been a psychopath but he didn’t hurt her, and at worst she might have been irritated by his calls and texts. LOL

No, but look at how invested he was in HER after the first date! I think degree of emotional investment does not necessarily have to do with time. (To demonstrate that, I spent all of two weeks with the guy in CR!) But if a person puts energy into the fantasy over a long period of time, then it can become a habit or addiction and create a particular neuropathway in the mind. It can be hard to break the addiction. Having said that, I know people who broke addictions in a moment of will. It can happen.

I think spending years with a spath or narcissist (as I did with my parents) does not necessarily have to be a long sentence of suffering. There are things we can do to recircuit the brain. One of them is travel. Travel to foreign countries or even visiting new parts of town or ethnic restaurants can jar the mind into change. New things, new environments can spark new ways of thinking.

Thanks Donna.

Bob, in actual fact, there are some really horrible stories of things that bloggers here have endured. I am sorry if you are one of the people who has endured a horrific nightmare at the hands of a psychopath. Many times it leaves us untrusting of ourselves or untrusting of others.

To learn about LoveFraud, I suggest you Go back through the articles in the archives and read them (for a start, just read the articles and leave reading the comments for later) get a real feel for what LoveFraud is about before you harshly judge us for being too judgmental or critical.

Like I said in my first post to you, we are not a jury here, we are allowed our opinions based on evidence from the media. And yes, we have already decided that we think Jerry Sandusky is a pedophile. Of course the law has not followed as quickly as our opinions have, and like OJ Simpson, he may get off in the court of law, but that doesn’t change and won’t change what my opinion is in the matter. Does that make me unjust? Not in my opinion, but it might in yours.

Does the woman in this story have Munchausens? Probably not is my opinion, because she wasn’t actually making herself sick, she was RAISING MONEY. Did she get some sort of sick attention out of the pretending to be sick, by playing the “sick roll” and having people comfort and nurse her? Yea, probably. Does that give her a pass? Nope, not in my book. Did she know she didn’t have cancer? If the answer is “yes” (and I believe it is) then she is liable for her actions legally and morally. If a psychiatrist wasn’t to interview her and label it Munchausens then fine, I still don’t give her a pass.

Donna’s x husband played at being a war hero, and he knew he was NOT a war hero, the same way this woman played at being a poor cancer patient! Should we pity these people? Should we feel sorry for anyone so bereft of a conscience and a moral compass that they can do these things? They must be “sick” right? and if they are “sick” and have Munchausen syndrome we must feel sorry for them, shouldn’t we? NO is my answer to that question.

I am sorry that there are cruel people in this world. Those same cruel people are unable to love and be loved, to connect and be connected, and to me being able to love and being loved are the most precious things on this earth and they don’t have that, and it is sad that any thinking creature that God made would not be able to feel some form of love or connectedness. That said though, I am not going to spend my time feeling sorry for them. Giving them my pity, but will save my empathy for the trail of victims that they leave behind.

Bob, if you have been wounded by a psychopath, then welcome to LoveFraud and I hope that you will find comfort and support in the bloggers here. We are an opinionated bunch at times, but learning to spot psychopaths by the red flags they wave is as much an art as a science. I hope you will become part of the Love Fraud community. Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired) AKA “Oxy”

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