Woman accused of lying about cancer collected thousands in donations

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CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — The town of Hernando, Fla., rallied around one woman who said she had stage four breast cancer.

Recently, they found out she made the whole thing up.

The community volunteered and raised hundreds of dollars for Kelly Johanneson’s doctor bills and other expenses.

Deputies said Johanneson was living a lie the whole time.

After receiving a complaint in September, deputies took a closer look at her and found that she had lied about her diagnosis and didn’t have cancer.

Investigators said a Go Fund Me page for the 36-year-old raised at least $4,400 and they still haven’t been able to tally how much others raised on her behalf.

A board member of the Airboat Alliance, which helped raise money for Johanneson, said the lie really hurt the small town.

“I just thought it was pretty rotten, for someone to do what they did and take the trust of all the people and just throw it away,” Joe Springer said.

Today Johanneson looks much different from the way she did a few months ago.

Her hair has grown back and she remains in the Citrus County Jail, charged with fraud.

People from her hometown are still asking why someone would do this.

“It took money away from people that could have really used it,” Springer said.

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