Forward an email to help Debbie Schwartz-Fiction!

Forward an Email to Help Debbie Schwartz, a Desperate Woman Caring for Three Sick Family Members-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

An appeal from a woman in horrible stress.  She says her name is Debbie Schwartz.  Her son was hit by a car and is in the hospital in a coma, she is caring for an elderly grandmother who suffered a stroke, and she says all that stress affected a pregnancy and her daughter was born with Down’s Syndrome and chronic colitis. She says she’s worked a deal with AOL that for every forward of her email she’ll receive 12 cents so she asks for your help by sending it to all your friends.  Some versions of the eRumor are also accompanied by a picture of a woman with a young daughter.

The Truth:

This is a hoax.

There is no procedure on the Internet for tracing forwarded emails and compensating anyone for the forwards.  Any email you receive that claims that you or anyone else will be paid on a per-email basis for forwarding it is a hoax.

There are also other clues that this is a fabrication.  One is that nowadays neither doctors nor patients would be using the term “vegetable” to describe the outlook of a comatose child.  It’s outdated and considered insensitive.  The other is that Down’s Syndrome is the result of genetic factors, not stress during pregnancy.

Updated 6/1/06