Angie Gomez, 19, was a phenomenal fundraiser. She quickly raised $17,000 for her foundation, Achieve the Dream Foundation, to benefit children with leukemia. She created the foundation to help children suffering from the same disease that she was reportedly suffering from.
Angie began the foundation after she told friends and classmates that she had had leukemia as a child and the cancer had returned. In January of 2011, she told classmates that doctors only gave her 6 months to live.
Angie’s school, Horizon High School in Horizon City, Texas, rallied behind her and helped her with fundraising. KVIA in El Paso also adds that Angie’s school set up a dream prom for her since she missed hers due to a hospital stay. Rallying more support, she was asked to speak at other schools.
Even the local media latched onto Angie’s story. The Digital Texan reports that Angie had become a fixture in local media and was featured in a special “Inspiration For You” segment on KDBC in El Paso.
The problem–Angie did not have cancer. The El Paso Times reports that last June, people began to wonder why Angie never appeared to be ill. Then, the Horizon City police opened an investigation on June 2, 2011 and found no evidence that Angie ever had cancer.
Angie was arrested on Friday evening. She has been charged with theft by deception according to The El Paso Times. Bond has been set at $50,000.
Sheldon Myers, Angie’s attorney, told KVIA that Angie was genuinely concerned about children with leukemia and had good intentions with the money.
He explained, “She has a real soft spot for people that suffer from those types of diseases, and that’s why she was trying to get money for them.”
He further stated that even though she had access to the money, she never used it.