A cancer donor hoax cost a young man his life, his mother says, and, as the family copes with the recent death of Thomas Doty, 20, they are also faced with the knowledge that a cruel prank for unknown reasons could have cost Doty precious time in treating the illness.
Doty, the victim of the cancer donor hoax, had been battling osteosarcoma — a rare form of bone cancer — for three years, according to his mom, Tiffany Doty. On December 19, Doty says, her son died of cancer but not before a woman’s interference with the situation gave the family false hope — and even delayed treatment that could have saved the young man’s life.
Earlier this year, Deadliest Catch star Jonathan Hillstrand made a video, asking fans for help and donations to get treatment for Thomas Doty. Soon after, a woman claiming to be a nurse from Indiana called with a promise — a check for $250,000 to secure treatment for the ill young man.
Tiffany Doty says the cancer donor hoax not only filled her son’s last days with false promise but also interfered with his treatment. She explains:
“She would get on the phone with me and say, ‘I’m so sorry for what your going through and did you tell Thomas the wire is on the way?’ .. She went to great lengths and just broke Thomas’ spirit … like he needed something … one more disappointment in his life.”
After the cancer donor hoax was realized, KomoNews.com reports that KOMO News 4 shared Thomas’ plight with viewers, and that enough money was raised to transport Doty to California for treatment. But he did not respond and died soon after, and Tiffany says:
“I honestly 100 percent believe my son would be here if that time had not been wasted.”
The site says that even after Doty passed, the cancer donor hoax perpetrator has continued to harass the grieving family, but the site does not provide details about the continuing contact. A lawyer for the family tells the news site that, if the woman can be located, Doty’s relatives plan to sue for intentional infliction of emotional distress.