Using a mixture of crowdfunding websites, online auction houses and other donation services, she amassed wealth from friends, families and the kindness of strangers.
The money was meant to go towards her treatment and final efforts to tick off bucket-list desires.
She told her donors she only had months to live.
However, psychological examination and consequent diagnosis has worked to uncover some reasoning behind her behaviour.
The woman was diagnosed with factitious disorder – a rare psychological condition that causes individuals to feign illness by acting out or exaggerating symptoms.
Forensic psychiatrist, Ian Goodwin, said this wasn’t a situation where the woman believed she had the illness – rather, it was a conscious effort to trick others, stuff reports.
“You are actually faking the illness and the effects of treatment. It’s purposefully creating or exaggerating a condition.” He said.
“It’s a hard one to research because these people are lying. Most of the people do have some degree of serious … personality issues.”
Judge Claire Ryan from the Auckland District Court who presided over the proceedings, told the woman her illness did not disregard her offences.
“I can’t accept your offending wasn’t deliberate. You knew what was happening, you enjoyed what was happening.” Judge Ryan said.
“You took the money and you spent it. Because of your factitious disorder you enjoyed the attention.”
Desperate to maintain the illusion of cancer, the woman went to extreme lengths to mimic her disease.
Plucking her eyebrows, shaving her head, she made several attempts to feign the effects of cancer treatments.
According to reports, the woman has been granted name suppression after a clinical psychologist told the court her condition would only be aggravated by her name being published.
She has been ordered to pay back $14, 200 over the next five years – just over half the amount she scammed.
This will total around $54 a week.
Click below to revisit one of Australia’s most notorious cancer scams.