A Louth mum has said she is ‘devastated and angry’ after fundraising efforts for her daughter’s cancer treatment were targeted by an anonymous online ‘troll’.
Mel Knight shared a screenshot of an anonymous Facebook message - which was sent around to her friends, family and fundraising team last week - claiming that she was exploiting her daughter Demi’s illness to achieve ‘fame, attention and money’.
The message even insinuated that Mel had been siphoning funds away from Demi’s treatment fund to buy a new car and also made claims about Demi’s welfare.
But Mel has insisted that the allegations are completely untrue - and she has reported the incident to the police.
Mel told the Leader: “Not only has this caused myself, Demi and our family upset, but all of the people who are supporting Demi and continue to do so are also devastated and angry at how someone could stoop so low as to try and sabotage a 12-year-old girl’s fundraising to save her life,
“I personally can’t think of anything worse that someone could do and can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would want to.
“Whether it be down to jealousy or the fact that someone simply doesn’t like me, to try and destroy a whole family and possibly a life is beyond words.”
With regards to her new car, Mel explained that her previous vehicle had suffered a number of costly faults and that she had managed to negotiate with her dealership to take on a new car which works out cheaper on finance than her previous vehicle.
Mel said: “I’m actually better off and I have a reliable car which I need for my disabled children due to all the long distance travelling I need to do.”
“I go without, so my kids can have all they need, I don’t treat myself like I was once able to, and anyone who knows me knows that’s the truth and what I’ve had to cut back on.
Responding to claims that the experimental treatment programme is detrimental to Demi’s wellbeing, Mel said: “Yes, Demi gets down she gets fed up, but she’s not unwell or suffering like she was when she was on chemotherapy which never worked.
“She was so ill on her treatment before that she couldn’t even eat and had to be tube fed through a button in her stomach.”
She added: “Once you’ve been given a death sentence for your child, if someone else somewhere could offer you even a one per cent chance of an alternative treatment that could possibly save their life, what parent wouldn’t take that chance?”
Mel believes that the person behind the trolling Facebook account - hidden behind the fake name ‘James Smith’ - could be the same person (a former family-friend) who allegedly attacked Mel in a Louth shop earlier this year, and made hurtful accusations against her.
Both incidents have been reported to the police.
A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “Both these reports refer to a report of violence and malicious communications respectively – which we are investigating.
“All reports of malicious communications are taken seriously and we ask anyone who feels they are the victim of this type of offence to get in contact with us.”