I find it difficult to believe that a cancer survivor would be this callous and heartless. Have we sunk so low as a society that we have to steal diseases from each other?
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then what is plagiarism? I recently learned that my Ravishly post from April 15, 2015 had been plagiarised.
It was an intensely personal piece about my 2013 fight with breast cancer called “Why Do I Get To Be Cancer Girl?” (which was also picked up, with permission, by The Glow). In it, I talk frankly about the stark emotions surrounding a cancer diagnosis — and the odd sort of “why me?” that comes when others are spared such shattering prognoses. I quote good friends and my husband, name support groups, and refer to blogs I find inspiring. (Watch: How to detect Ovarian cancer. Post continues after video)
With a few sly edits, TC, a woman from Mackay, Australia, transformed my breast cancer odyssey into her stomach cancer odyssey. In a weird way, my friends — including one who’s since died after a five-year ovarian cancer battle — have become her friends.
TC went used the same stats I cited, kept references to people I love, added a smidge of her own reflections (badly written and sprinkled with “fkn’s”) and personalised it with her own supposed health details, while omitting mine.
Having someone steal my cancer history and co-opt it for their first-person Facebook account is unbelievably violating. Somehow, it feels almost as invasive as my mastectomy. This individual has robbed a piece of my life and of my essence, so to speak.
What did she gain from this? Why did she feel the need to borrow a cancer reflection from me — and a dozen or so other cancer survivors? (Yep, she’s supposedly done it several times before.)