When Kelly Schmal told everyone she had a stage 3 gastrointestinal stromal tumor, everyone rallied around her.
Schmal's sorority sisters began organizing fundraisers for her, raising at least $7,500 in donations.
Bake sales, golf tournaments, and GoFundMe pages were all started. Even Schmal's parents were involved in their daughter's treatment and battle.
On the site for her gold tournament, Kelly Schmal wrote:
"I have never been one to ask for much, especially when it comes to money and material things, but when I was diagnosed last September, financial support from those around me has become pivotal in my battle".
There's just one enormous problem with Kelly's story though:
She doesn't have cancer.
Police somehow caught wind of Schmal's story and according to an affidavit search warrant, she isn't actually sick. According to the warrant, Schmal fooled everyone around her into believing she had cancer from June 2016 to March 2017.
Once police dug deeper, they got a warrant for her cellphone records. Turns out, Schaml was forwarding calls and messages to her own personal phone and pretending to be healthcare workers when people called for information.
"It's unbelievable to think that someone could plan that," cancer survivor Traci Clancy said. "She ruins it for other people who now will be skeptical of people being generous."
Schmal even had a blog (since deleted) where she detailed her cancer treatment.
"The day I was diagnosed, I promised myself that I would not let cancer define me, but I have failed," she wrote in the final entry, in February. "So, maybe I'm two-faced to hide the fact that I really am cancer and I can't change that until cancer is no longer inside of me. This is pretty much how I live my life now. Completely and utterly two-faced and I don't mind admitting it."
The Schmal family released a statement about the matter, saying they were also victims of the lie.
"Our daughter is a caring, loving, yet troubled, young woman, who is currently undergoing treatment for issues that precipitated this pretense and the results of it.
Like others in the community, we, too, believed our daughter was seriously ill with cancer and we are also searching for answers as to why she would participate in this deception. During the time that funds were being raised for Kelly, she did not live with us and we did not actively promote any fundraising efforts.
Like our family members, friends, and the good people of this community who generously gave time and money to this cause, we are anxious to learn what happened to money that was raised for Kelly. We do not know the answer to this question because we have never had access to these funds. However, we are cooperating with law-enforcement officials and we are hopeful they can help answer some of these questions.
At this point, our main concern is with our daughter, who thankfully is now away from this situation and getting the help she needs."
Kelly Schmal's sorority is also feeling violated right now, but they are vowing to follow through with their planned fundraiser, with the money going towards a different charity which supports breast cancer research.
If Kelly Schmal is found guilty of grand theft or theft by deception, she could face anywhere from 1 to 10 years in prison.