Mom who faked son's cancer told him he was sick

AURORA – The investigation into the mother accused of telling her healthy 6-year-old son he had cancer and fraudulently raising money for his illness, started after she was overheard talking about the boy's illness at work.

According to court documents Sandy Nguyen admitted to faking her son's illness to investigators. Nguyen told police she led people to believe that her son had leukemia and told the little boy he was sick, but didn't think he was old enough to understand what was going on. Nguyen also told investigators "she did not ask for any help," but didn't turn it away either.

Investigators say Nguyen faked her son's Leukemia for over a year, accepting community donations for his treatment.

Court records show the boy's elementary school - Rolling Hills Elementary - raised money to help him with treatment. The principal of the school told investigators that 100 percent of the students, more than 600 of them volunteered to help. Some kids gave up their allowance money and asked grandparents for help.

Nguyen is expected to be formally charged Wednesday in Arapahoe County. She's facing charges of theft and criminal impersonation.

Her arrest affidavit says investigators found $23,000 in cash in her closet.

Court records say the family took a trip to Disneyland in October 2013 using raised money.

Court records show Nguyen used Facebook to relay her son's condition, talking about his procedures, including the need for bone marrow treatment and receiving care at Children's Hospital of Denver.

A doctor at Children's Hospital of Denver's oncology unit overheard the conversation, according to court records, and having been familiar with all the patients, didn't know Nguyen's son.

After checking with Children's Hospital of Denver records, investigators found out the first grader wasn't treated for cancer at the hospital, but other minor illnesses like moderate asthma.

Court records say Nguyen had posted her son was first diagnosed with cancer on April 2, 2012, had received 317 days of chemotherapy, seven days of radiation and various procedures.

A 5K fundraising run was planned for his medical bills as late as Oct. 6, 2013.

According to court documents, the little boy told investigators he believed he had cancer and was going to die. He got chemotherapy at night while sleeping. His mom shaved his head every morning before school.

Investigators list two other children in the home, an 8-year-old and a 1-year-old. On Tuesday, her husband confirmed she is pregnant.

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