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She Lied

September 8, 2010

Today I read a news story online that stopped me cold. Here's what happened in a nutshell.

Several months ago, a Newburgh, NY newspaper ran the story of Jessica Vega, "a bride-to-be in her twenties who had less than a year to live." Vega wanted to marry her fiance with whom she had a child before acute myeloid leukemia took her life. When residents of the city heard about Vega's story, they were touched to the heart.

Citizens of Newburgh sent money to help with the wedding, covering the "bride's wedding dress, wedding rings, wedding flowers, wedding photos, hair-styling and makeup for the entire bridal party, and a honeymoon in
Aruba." It was an unbelievable outpouring of support, a good news story in a sea of bad news. Only one problem: It was all a lie.

Michael O'Connell, Jessica Vega's ex-husband blew the whistle as their marriage headed for divorce. She had faked the entire episode, O'Connell later found out. When a local newspaper checked into Vega's original cancer diagnosis, the doctor who she claimed had diagnosed her cancer did not know her, and the hospital had no record of her ever having being a patient.

Needless to say, the people of Newburgh, NY who helped Jessica Vega are quite upset.

I've got two questions for you. 1. Why would someone tell a lie of that magnitude? 2. If a friend of yours told a lie of that nature, what would you do?

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