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Family: Fake blog exploits daughter's cancer battle

A Barrow County family said they're being forced to relive the pain of losing their daughter to cancer after someone created fake social media accounts about the teen's illness.
A Barrow County family said they're being forced to relive the pain of losing their daughter to cancer after someone created fake social media accounts about the teen's illness.
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Updated: 7/11/2013 12:27 pm
WINDER, Ga. (WSB-TV) -- A Barrow County family said they're being forced to relive the pain of losing their daughter to cancer after someone created fake social media accounts about the teen's illness.

Seventeen-year-old Kayla Jones died three years ago. Her family's pain runs even deeper now that someone stole photos and messages from a blog her mother created to cope with the girl's death.

Amber Chandler said the fake accounts include stolen pictures and blog posts, word for word, that details Jones' battle with leukemia.

The messages of support poured from around the globe for the fiery, energetic redhead. There were Twitter postings with photographs of best friends.

Then came the sad update on June 28 that Jones had less than a month to live.

"My daughter passed away September 2010," Chandler told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh.

Jones died within months of her cancer diagnosis, Chandler said.

To cope, Chandler started "Mom Minus 1," a blog used as a way to connect with other parents who have lost children.

It was here there she received an anonymous tip about phony social media accounts.

"We felt violated. It was like they were taking my daughter from me. It was like they trying to live their life through and through us and all that we've been through."

Chandler and Jones' sister began investigating. They discovered an imposter Twitter handle @jennafighter12 with Jones' pictures and made up stories about the family's circumstances.

The imposter claimed the mother was pregnant, had six children, three with serious illnesses.

There was also a fake blog.

"Having to relive this again and seeing someone try to pretend to be her. It was awful," said sister, Alison Jones.

The family believes this has been happening for nearly a year, based on a post dated July 18.
"It was shock, almost grief. She died all over again," said Chandler.

They have no idea why somebody would do this. They never found any postings soliciting for donations.

"I wish I could know who did it. But we probably will never find out who did it," said Jones.

The family only made the startling discovery a week ago. Since then, they have contacted Twitter and the blogging site, WordPress. They said as of Wednesday, much of the stolen content had been taken down.

Now Chandler said she wants to warn others of the potential predators trolling the Internet. She is considering copyrighting her material and purchasing her domain name. She has no plans of ending her blog.

She said it has been a huge source of support for her and other mothers.


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