Shock extremes of accused cancer con artist
THE shock extremes of alleged cancer faker Amanda Power's actions has left the cancer community reeling, as it is revealed that concerns were first raised nine years ago when a complaint about her authenticity was made to Cancer Council Queensland.
Ms Power has acted as the pallbearer at the funeral of Queenslanders taken by cancer, and has had her tears wiped away by highly emotional cancer survivors when she did a survivor lap at a Relay for Life fundraiser while on crutches and carrying a bag of blood, a former colleague has claimed.
"I knew that her stories just didn't add up, and I called CCQ headquarters and told them way back when she was about 20," former Cancer Council Queensland Townsville employee Angela Tyack told The Courier-Mail.
"She was a volunteer then but it wasn't long after she was employed as an ambassador."
Ms Tyack was the Relay for Life coordinator at the time Ms Power joined the volunteering team.
"She was vibrant and enthusiastic had the perfect cancer story to tell," she said.
"The problem is that her stories just didn't add up. She had just joined as a volunteer when suddenly a cancer diagnosis came out of nowhere.
"Having gone through a cancer scare myself at a young age I knew the process wasn't as instant or straight forward as she was indicating.
"So I decided to just see how things unfolded."
The Courier-Mail this week revealed Ms Power, one of Australia's leading cancer ambassadors and an Australian of the Year nominee allegedly faked having terminal cancer.
Ms Tyack said Ms Power told her said had reproductive cancer but was getting the "lucky chemo" that didn't produce hair loss.
She said she had surgery but had a very quick recovery and was always secretive and vague about her treatments.
Mrs Tyack says she decided to speak up to her state managers in Brisbane.
The CCQ says they have no record of such a concern.
"They listened but ultimately said 'we can't ask volunteers to provide medical records' and that was pretty much where it ended," Ms Tyack said.
"I honestly thought she would be exposed years earlier than this, but she was good at selling her story and gaining sympathy.
"The Cancer Council does amazing work and I understand people should be taken in good faith when it comes to this awful disease but this has left behind so much hurt.
"I left the CCQ and cut all ties with her but I loved my time working with the volunteers. They do amazing work."
CCQ told The Courier-Mail that like most not-for-profit organisations, they rely on the good faith of the individuals in the community "who share their personal experience and those who substantiate their story".