'Belle Gibson, you said you cured yourself. I thought I could too.'

Dear Belle Gibson,

I want you to know that I am angry with you. I’m not actually angry. I’m infuriated beyond belief.

You have just come out telling The Australian Women’s Weekly that you lied about having terminal brain cancer. As a patient who has gone through 15 brain surgeries, numerous angiograms, hundreds of blood tests and many MRI scans, how dare you make money by lying about a hardship that many Australians like myself have to go through every single day?

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Ashton Taylor after surgery, with her mum. Image: supplied.

Do you even know what it’s like for someone to have brain problems? I do. I’m 21 and I’ve been through 15 brain surgeries to fix my brain condition, and I am still needing to have more surgery in the coming months.  Each one of my surgeries has lasted on average 7 hours.

Do you know how painful those 7 hours are for my family and friends? They’re the ones that are sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, refreshing their Facebook news feed to keep them entertained during the ordeal and nervously biting on every little last bit of their cuticles while messaging people who are wanting updates on how I am going.  It makes my heart sink every time they’ve waited for me while I’m in surgery.

More: Belle Gibson will not be charged over her controversial cancer claims.

How dare you make money off these innocent people? I, like many other people who suffer from a debilitating brain condition bought your app “The Whole Pantry.” I thought it would be good to try and make my lifestyle as healthy as possible. You said so yourself. You had terminal brain cancer. YOU survived, so I thought I could rid myself of my illness as well. How idiotic I feel right now for believing you.


How dare you blame your lies on your rough start to life. You give your excuse that you had “a difficult up bringing.” Although I did not have a rough start, I went through many problems in my adolescence – depression, bullying and severe acne just to name a few. But you know what, Belle? I got help from my counsellor and my doctor. And today I am in a much happier place, with some good anti-depressants and acne cream to help me.

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Ashton on her 21st birthday. Image via Chris Webster.

And now Belle Gibson, it’s time for you to get help yourself. Help to learn how to apologize to these people that you encouraged so much hope in, because you have upset so many people. Like my mum, a breast cancer survivor and a sufferer of Cowden’s Syndrome, which means she is at higher risk of  cancer. Or my mother’s plastic surgeon who sees the devastating effects cancer can have on patients each day. He’s furious. And me – a fellow Cowden’s sufferer, like my mum, and a survivor of a severe brain condition.

I am ashamed to have wasted my money on your app. I am someone who believed in your lies. Someone that you instilled a glimmer of hope in.

Belle Gibson, all I can say is this to you: How dare you?

This post originally appeared on Suzannah Taylor’s blog Chronicles of a Lumpy Person and has been republished here with full permission.