Teenage Girl Steals Photos For Her Fake Childhood Cancer Blog

The Warrior Eli Hoax Group, the for adults, has been recently uncovering the story of childhood cancer blog “Remembering Reilly”. It has now been revealed that the site, which claimed to be the online journal of the cancer struggle and eventual death of 3 year old Reilly Bowman, was started by a teenage girl:

I’ve heard from the person who is behind this hoax.  She’s a junior in high school and she says she started the blogs after hearing Taylor Swift’s song Ronan…We’ve discussed why what she did was harmful and wrong, and I truly believe she is sorry.

Someone who says “An apology doesn’t quite cut it,” is the REAL mother of “Reilly” – Sarah Gilliam. Photos of her son Jack, as well as photos of herself and other family photos, were stolen and used on the “Reilly” blog as well as on a facebook page for the blog.

The photo was an image of my son who is very much alive and whose name is Jack and not Reilly…It’s shocking to find that someone was using my family’s story to create a very different story, and a very terrible story of their own.

The hoaxster was even designed ”Team Reilly” t-shirts. Apparently the girl behind the hoax is “considering talking to a psychologist”, while Gilliam says she is “researching legal options”.

In other news, thousands of mothers are now making their instagrams and facebook accounts private as we speak.

Edit: This post previous claimed the hoaxster was selling t-shirts. The post has now been corrected.

  1. avatar Megan

    “In other news, thousands of mothers are now making their instagrams and facebook accounts private as we speak.”

    Well, they SHOULD do that, but will they? Probs not. Then how would they get the pageview$$$?

    (Ok, I know pageview$$$ don’t really come from Instagram and Facebook, but y’all know what I mean.)

  2. avatar Eyelash Sweater

    What a creep.

  3. avatar supereight

    Classic Munchausen-by-Internet. So glad the internet didn’t exist back in my bored adolescence.

  4. avatar gwenhara

    A junior in high school ought to know better and deserves more than having to offer a fake apology.

    • What kind of jackass listens to a Taylor Swift song and thinks “Oh this would make a wonderful fake blog”?

      • avatar gwenhara

        Someone who takes life advice from Tumblr?

      • avatar chillivanilli

        “What kind of jackass listens to a Taylor Swift song “. Period.

        I wonder if Kelle..
        No, actually I don’t wonder at all.

      • avatar Wait...What???

        Fake blogs period. I don’t get it at all. I cannot wrap my head around it no matter what “inspired” it.

      • avatar Respect privacy and lies OH MY

        Several of the hoaxes that have been busted by the Warrior Eli group have admitted after hearing the Taylor Swift song they wanted to write a blog about having a child with cancer.

        Also, the Warrior Eli was a massive hoax which went on for YEARS.

        • avatar italltasteslikechicken

          Who would want to think about that as often as you would have to in order to blog about it? It really bothers me to scroll past that stuff on my Facebook feed. I can’t imagine crafting an imaginary life for myself that includes my own child having a horrible illness.

      • avatar sorefeetstink

        The kind that wants to be on TV and gets her wish on msnbc.

  5. avatar planet claire

    “In other news, thousands of mothers are now making their instagrams and facebook accounts private as we speak.”


  6. avatar Sister Friend

    That is a whole lot of desperate for attention. Sad thing is, if she put half as much effort into her own life as she did creating and maintaining this blog, she could be an interesting person herself. Instead, she is just a jackass and a loser.

    • Can you imagine if she put that sort of energy and creativity into her school work?

    • avatar Magically Delicious

      I agree, RE: effort, etc. and having those skills at such at age.
      BUT with that being said, what’s really disconcerting is being that diabolical in junior high
      , the child has some serious issues to even want to create this.

    • avatar Sad

      Ouch. She’s only 17. I think we should go easy on this one.

      • avatar winothepooh

        No, don’t cut her any slack. When I was 17 I knew damn well that writing a fake tragedy/sickness blog was disgusting. I’m only three years older than this girl–it’s an insult to smart, mature young women everywhere to ‘go easy’ because of her age.

      • avatar soft kitty

        Why? She did a disgusting thing. A loser is putting it very mildly, in my opinion.

      • avatar a twee twit of a twat

        If this were my daughter (who is now 20) or my 17 year old son they’d be praying that the worst that happened to them would be to get (rightfully) slammed on GOMI…I’d kick their asses.

      • avatar Moons Over My Hammy

        I agree, Sad. I think people deserve second chances. I also think Gilliam should let this one go. Suing her isn’t going to do anything.

        Lastly, ease up on this teenage girl, people. Say you read that she hangs herself in a month because of all the shitty things people wrote about her after she did this very stupid thing on the Internet. I happens. Let’s give the kid a bit of a break. She made a horrible mistake and will hopefully learn from it. Maybe she should donate her time to help children in need. But don’t fucking slam her. That won’t change a thing.

        Also, stop comparing yourself to her, winothepooh. You knew better at 17, that’s awesome. You are not her. She is not you.

        • avatar Moons Over My Hammy

          OK, so I just got to the Aryan part below, and I’m starting to think this girl needs a leeetle bit more intervention. I only read the post above, didn’t click the links. That wasn’t cool

          My apologies if I came off harsh to those saying come down on her. I still don’t want to see her completely slammed! But Aryan? Ugh. I will back out of this conversation now as I didn’t know nearly enough about it. Sorry!

          • avatar winothepooh

            It’s all good, Moons. I only compare myself to her because we’re actually of an age to be peers–the mommybloggers drive me nuts, but I don’t have kids, so I don’t let myself get quite as judgy. I wasn’t looking for Cecily-style headpats for being a speshul mature snowflake. It just drives me bonkers that this is the kind of shit that older people will think about my generation. Given the extent of this hoax, I don’t doubt this particular girl needs serious help beyond what her parents can provide, and that calling her every name in the book won’t really help. But I just don’t think it’s our job to be nice about her mistake. This might be cold, but it’s not my problem if she can’t handle the consequences of her actions. That is entirely her problem, and one she should have considered before embarking on this gross misadventure.

        • avatar Ali Cat

          “Say you read that she hangs herself in a month because of all the shitty things people wrote about her after she did this very stupid thing on the Internet.

          Yeah, I’m about as responsible for what idiot teenagers steal and lie about on their blogs as I am for what they read about themselves after they royally fuck up.

          You go ahead and “ease up” if you want. Your choice.

          • avatar Ali Cat

            Oh man, I didn’t read far enough to see that you’d semi-recanted. I apologize. I’m unduly riled up tonight for some (A MILLION) reason(S). I can’t decide if I need MORE Franzia or LESS Franzia. Either way, you don’t need me bitching down your throat over some moron neither one of us has ever met. Ham sorries.

  7. avatar Amaryllis

    Those Warrior Eli Hoax people are little too nice, if you ask me. This girl was selling t-shirts. That crosses the line from “attention seeking” to “theft by deception.”

    I would also hope that they told her parents. After all, they’re undoubtedly the ones paying for the internet connection she’s using, and guess who gets blamed when someone uses the internet to commit fraud and theft? Oh, right, the owner of the account.

    • avatar Sad

      And I’m sure that’s who the mother is talking about going after when she talks about legal option, trying to get $ out of her parents. Maybe she does have a case. In that case, all parents of teens better get some monitoring software on all of their computers, phones, everything.

  8. avatar foursix

    Ugh – I followed one of the links and got a good look at the screenshot. One of her other fake babies was named Aryan.

    Fucking Aryan!

    • avatar Joe Mahma

      …. No. Just… no.

    • avatar Amanda Hugginkiss

      Was another one White Power?

    • avatar Trendy Ikat Bowls

      Not to give the girl any credit, but the name Aryan doesn’t have the same connotations in the rest of the world that it has in the West. “Aryan” was co-opted and bastardized by the Nazis due to bad science suggesting that white people descended from the same lineage as the Aryans.

      Aryan is where the word “Iran” comes from, and Aryana used to be the name of Afghanistan; Aryan/Aryana is very common given name.

      But anyway. The girl probably just saw it on a babynames list and thought it was ~cute~.

      • avatar Trendy Ikat Bowls

        Ha, I take all that back…she says the imaginary baby was blond/blue-eyed and “fit” his name perfectly. Ugh.

        • avatar Amanda Hugginkiss

          Yes, you were giving her far too much credit.

  9. avatar lorasmom

    What in the actual fuck?

    My 6 year old is a FOR REAL cancer survivor (90 days remission!), and I would STAB someone.

    What. I hope her parents have been made aware. I hope charges get filed.


    • avatar just no

      Glad to hear your child is in remission!

      +1 on real consequences being necessary for this kind of crap.

    • avatar Sister Friend

      WTF, indeed. Hugs to you and your kitten – it is families like yours that make me (and all normal people) so angry at seeing this kind of deviant, fucked up stuff online. Congrats on 90 days of remission – wishing your kitten a lifetime of cancer-free joy, happiness, and every good thing on earth.

    • avatar Swoopy thing over the last e

      Great to hear your child is doing better, lorasmom. I hope nothing but the best of health comes along in the future.

    • avatar Geekery

      Best wishes to you and your family. :-)

    • avatar bucky

      I’m so happy to hear that your child is in remission!

    • avatar ativan annie

      Having had cancer myself, as a mom I have to say that having a child with cancer is a bazillion times worse. So glad to hear about the remission. May it last forever.

    • Best of thoughts and hugs to your child and to you!

  10. avatar janis

    hide yo kids…. hide yo wife..

  11. avatar Bartonellosis

    Disgusting. I kind of think the mom whose photos were stolen is being a little dramatic. What harm was actually done to her? I’m not saying anyone deserves to have their kid’s pictures stolen, but you are taking that risk when you put your pics out there.

    • avatar Saint Dorothy Mantooth

      I’m a little more sympathetic to a professional family photographer using images of her kids to promote her business (especially when just starting up — though I don’t know how long the mom in question has been working. If you don’t have any clients, you don’t have examples of your work to show potential clients … so family members make pretty good stopgap portfolio material.)

      Which is not really a comment on people putting their kids’ photos online in general, one way or the other. Just a ham-fueled observation.

    • avatar Sad

      I agree.

    • avatar soft kitty

      Overdramatic? How would you feel if someone stole your child’s photos to use on their fake cancer blog? If she were making money from it? I would want to wring her neck.

    • avatar Bitch, please

      If you wouldn’t be pissed off about someone using your kid’s photo for a dead child cancer scam then you’re fucking nuts

      • avatar Belladonna Took

        Which brings us back to the old debate of putting your child’s images all over the Internet and then getting upset when somebody else uses them in a bad way. Yes it’s wrong, but this is the INTERNET we’re talking about here. People need to wise up or just accept the consequences.

        • avatar janis

          I would have to agree about this!!!

        • avatar Fear is the Mindkiller


        • avatar snarkymcbitchy

          Victim blaming FTW!

          • avatar Belladonna Took

            You don’t want people to steal images of your children, then don’t put them on the Internet. I’m not blaming her .. I’m just pointing out the fucking obvious.

  12. avatar Saint Dorothy Mantooth

    If I found out my teenager did something like that … oh man.


    • avatar Sister Friend

      yes, but also – your username. Love it so hard.

    • avatar Greg'sWife (literally) aka DirtyLakeMichigan

      This gif is the story of my life.

  13. avatar Snarkastic

    I do hope this little adolescent psychopath doesn’t ever procreate.

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