Pennsauken mom accused of faking son's cancer

Sue Stillwaggon

April 26, 2013 3:40:01 PM PDT
Charges have been filed against a New Jersey mother who allegedly lied about her son's illness and collected money in his support.

Sue Stillwaggon, of Pennsauken, is accused of lying to friends, family, and even her nine-year-old boy, allegedly telling everyone that the child had stage III Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"Taking her son to the doctor, lying about doctor's appointments, lying about what the boy was diagnosed with, and people were believing her. No one was second-guessing her when you say a kid has cancer," said Lt. Michael Probasco of the Pennsauken Police.

Police also say she faked a letter from a hospital to her son's school saying he had cancer.

"She couldn't articulate to me why she did it, just that she had a problem," said Sgt. Cheryl Duffy. "That was her answer, 'I have a problem.'"

In a March 7th Facebook posting the boy wrote on his page "my stomach still hurts but I'm trying to rest like mom says so I can go to my team's soccer games this weekend."

Police are wondering if the child wrote that post himself, and are also trying to figure out what motivated the mother of four's actions, which even fooled her husband.

There was no answer at their home on Friday. Sue Stillwaggon is being treated right now at a psychiatric hospital.

Police say Stillwaggon deceived unsuspecting supporters, who raised about $3,500 through the sale of cupcakes, wristbands, necklaces, bingo nights and other events, believing they were helping a cancer-stricken child.

"That's not a very motherly attitude. She seemed like she was looking out for her own benefit," said neighbor Alann Mancko.

"It just makes my skin crawl. I can't believe that someone would do that. If they're in dire need, there's other things out there for them other than to scam people for something like that," said Nancy Zammer-Mohan. "And use your child of all things?"

Stillwaggon has also been active in fundraising related to premature births. She is now facing charges of theft by deception, forgery and endangering the welfare of a child.