Cancer faker pleads guilty
An Ontario woman has pleaded guilty to one charge in connection with faking terminal cancer and keeping thousands of dollars in donations.
Ashley Kirilow of Burlington was charged with six counts of fraud under $5,000 and one count of fraud over $5,000.
In a soft voice. Kirilow pleaded guilty Tuesday to defrauding Donna Michalowski of close to $7,400 collected at a fundraiser held at a bar.
The other six charges will be addressed next year. Kirilow will be back in court in January.
Police said the 23-year-old woman pretended to have cancer to raise money that she promised to give to charity, but kept the cash for herself.
Outside court Kirilow's lawyer, Brendan Neil, said his client is sorry for what she's done and wants to move on with her life.
Kirilow turned herself in to police on Aug. 6.
Her father has said she told him she shaved her head and eyebrows and plucked her eyelashes to appear to have cancer.
Photos on her Facebook website showed Kirilow smiling, but looking sallow as she wore a pink knit hat to cover her apparently bald head.
In the picture, she also made fists to show off tattoos on her knuckles that read in black lettering "Won't quit." Other photos had shown a pair of hands wrapped in tubes and taped with needles.
Her appearance has since changed.
"She has shoulder-length, light brown hair, she's slim, she's gained a little bit of weight, but she's still slim and was wearing just a grey knit sweater," the CBC's Stephanie Matteis reported from the courthouse in Milton.
When allegations surfaced against Kirilow, public outrage was swift.
Angry comments were splashed across the Facebook page set up for Kirilow's fake charity, Change for the Cure, with some even saying they hoped she got cancer.
One report published before Kirilow was charged had the young woman saying she was sorry for what she had done.