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Northern Kentucky student faked cancer to scam people for money

Everyone knows someone who has suffered from, or succumbed to, cancer, which is why this story I’m about to share is so infuriating. According to FOX19 in Cincinnati, former Northern Kentucky student Kelly Schmahl convinced her friends and fellow classmates that she had stage three gastrointestinal cancer in order to fool them out of thousands of dollars. Several events were being planned by NKU organizations to raise money for Schmahl’s medical bills, including “Kelly’s Klassic,” a golf and kickball tournament sponsored by her own sorority. To promote the event Schmahl wrote, “I have never been one to ask for much, especially when it comes to money and material things, but when I was diagnosed last September, financial support from those around me has become pivotal in my battle.”

Now, police allege that Schmahl faked the whole thing for almost a year, during which her friends and others raised $7,500 to help her pay her medical bills. After issuing a warrant for Schmahl’s cell phone, police discovered she used a forwarding service to dupe people into thinking healthcare workers were answering. The worst part? She even fooled her own parents, who issued this release to FOX19:

“Our daughter is a caring, loving yet troubled young woman who is currently undergoing treatment for issues that precipitated this pretense and the results of it.

Like others in the community, we, too, believed our daughter was seriously ill with cancer and we are all searching for answers as to why she would participate in this deception. During the time that funds were being raised for Kelly, she did not live with us and we did not actively promote any fundraising efforts.

Our family, friends, and the good people of this community who generously gave time and money to this cause are anxious to learn what happened to the money that was raised for Kelly. We do not know the answer to this question because we have never had access to these funds. However, we are cooperating with law-enforcement officials and we are hopeful they can help answer this question.

At this point, our main concern is with our daughter, who thankfully is away from this situation and getting the help she needs.”

Schmahl, who no longer attends NKU, faces charges of grand theft or theft by deception, and if convicted, could face anywhere from one to ten years in prison.



Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

31 Comments for Northern Kentucky student faked cancer to scam people for money

  1. GroundControlToNumber9
    6:11 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    What’s the difference between this and what Louisville does with their basketball program?

  2. 72uksprinter
    6:22 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    She is John Higgins’ stepdaughter.

    6:26 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    That’s pretty Schmahl of her!

  4. ClutchCargo
    6:50 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    How the hell did her parents not know she wasn’t actually under the care of a doctor? It just doesn’t make sense unless they were in on it too.

  5. ClutchCargo
    6:52 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Oh, it’s going to suck for her when she actually does have cancer one of these days.

  6. nolivesmatter
    7:08 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Apparently she was being watched and cared for by a woman that had no relation to the family who was also taking to her to these “doctor’s visit’s.”

  7. Souf beach Lou
    8:37 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Yeah but what do you expect? This is what happens when our society makes health care a for profit industry. If we had a social safety net where people could get the care that they need rather than suffering the indignity of having to beg in the streets for cash when they can’t cover their health care costs, you would have the incentive to do this. It would be taken care of, no incentive for fraud. The sad part is there are probably dozens of folks too proud to ask for help, that never get it, but someone without shame, gets it. I’d rather just pay my taxes, make sure people are covered rather than the crap shoot that charity game can be. But hey, “freedom” right? By this logic those people deserve to get taken.

    • playmorezeppelin
      8:49 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      It is of my opinion that the real problem here is that someone faked cancer to steal people’s money.

    • nate
      8:50 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      while I agree that healthcare is set up terribly and we should provide more assistance to people, this wouldn’t solve the problem of why this happened. This person is sick. They should absolutely serve years in jail for this, and hopefully be rehabilitated as well.

    • TheBluegrassKid
      9:41 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      Why are unable to hold individuals accountable for their actions? Souf beach blames the healthcare system instead of the girl who lied and faked having cancer. This was an act of greed by an individual who wanted money and attention, in no way did the healthcare industry influence or control her actions.

      Someone please explain to me how government provided healthcare will prevent people from lying to profit off the generosity of others?

    • Luether
      10:46 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      Predictable Democrat talking point – and total BS…

    • GroundControlToNumber9
      12:59 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

      Luether – For the 1st time in the history of KSR you said something that was accurate.

      Good job… this one time.

    • Angelo
      1:34 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

      The largest hospital system in the world is right here in America!!! Guess who? Guess how great it is? It is the VA! There you have it! A government run disaster.

    • catsarerunnin
      8:01 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

      Democrats provided the “best” healthcare by passing the ACA. Those who can’t afford health insurance get the best healthcare. Meanwhile those who don’t qualify pay high premiums with high deductibles which mean some folks can’t afford basic care. They can’t afford doctor recommended tests or procedures. The ACA was passed to force many people to get their insurance through the exchanges just so democrats could say republicans would take it all away if elected. And I say this as a registered democrat. I just didn’t drink the Obama/Clinton/Reid/Pelosi Kool Aid.

  8. chris43
    8:54 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    There’s special place in hell for people like this.

    • Angelo
      1:37 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

      Unfortunately hell doesn’t exist… The Hebrew word for it means grave…

    • JoeMoney333
      7:42 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

      In Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, it would be the eighth circle. Sinners of this category include counterfeiters, hypocrites, grafters, seducers, sorcerers, and simonists.

      Also, Angelo, while the existence of hell can be debated, that’s a terribly inaccurate translation of sheol.

  9. binarysolo
    9:10 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    You could say she was stealing money– in the most ridiculous manner possible.

  10. BuddySugarDavis
    9:19 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Wow, I see KSR is past calling out Referees and Louisville Cardinals. You people are ate up, from the top to bottom. This isn’t Kentucky Sports news. This isnt your story, this isn’t your place. I come here to read about Kentucky athletics. Keep this shit out of here TYLER

    • Alex90
      9:43 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      You didn’t have to go to the website.
      You didn’t have to read this story.
      You definitely did not have to comment.

    • runningunnin.454
      9:53 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      Some of us like offbeat news stories from around the state.
      Reading the stories is optional.

    • catsarerunnin
      8:03 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

      Snowflakes need a group hug.

  11. ukblue22
    9:28 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Word in Greek life on NKUs Campus says this may be a false sorry.

  12. dballrb
    9:38 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Even if it’s her first time being in trouble with the law,and for those of us who HAVE/ARE been effected by Cancer,..She needs at least some jail time,and the brass at UNC-le.

  13. runningunnin.454
    9:49 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    It may go deeper than money. Some people have a psychiatric disorder in which they crave attention and sympathy even though they are not physically ill….Munchausen Syndrome.

  14. tree_gardener
    11:01 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Parents were in on it

  15. raymond white
    12:51 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    A sad situation for this young girl to be in her punishment should be medical incarnation, she needs mental help not jail time. If her family can afford to pay back the money or part of it they should they could also have her visit cancer victims and help them like in hospitals. As far healthcare being brought up every US citizen should have that already Trump and the repub Senators and House members have free coverage ! The very people saying our country can”t afford healthcare for its citizens for all of you repubs who think that way go to hell ! Those refugees that got gassed is on trump”s on soul for turning them away ! What a turd we for potus ! He will not last for 1 year !

  16. TBW3011
    12:24 pm April 6, 2017 Permalink

    Future head of the DNC!