Mom jailed after faking her 11-year-old daughter’s terminal cancer diagnosis for donations

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An Ohio mom has been sentenced to six years in prison after she faked her 11-year-old daughter’s cancer to pocket thousands of dollars in donations.

Lindsey Abbuhl, 35, of Canton, pleaded guilty to the hoax after setting up a fake GoFundMe page to solicit donations for her daughter Rylee and telling her she had a terminal diagnosis due to a malfunction in her central nervous system.

The page, Rylee’s Warriors, raised more than $4,500 before being shut down by authorities.

She began raising money for living expenses and “medical expenses,” regularly taking Rylee to the doctors and telling her she was dying.

Charity events were held in Rylee’s honor, and the pair secured free tickets to Sea World and became guests of honor at a Texas A&M softball game.

Lindsey Abbuhl, 35, of Canton, pleaded guilty to the hoax after she set up a fake GoFundMe page to solicit donations for her daughter Rylee

Lindsey Abbuhl, 35, of Canton, pleaded guilty to the hoax after she set up a fake GoFundMe page to solicit donations for her daughter Rylee

The page, Rylee's Warriors, raised more than $4,500 before being shut down by authorities

The page, Rylee's Warriors, raised more than $4,500 before being shut down by authorities

The page, Rylee’s Warriors, raised more than $4,500 before being shut down by authorities

The court awarded full custody to Rylee's father, Jamie Abbuhl (pictured), who divorced Lindsey in 2017 and raised the alarm

The court awarded full custody to Rylee's father, Jamie Abbuhl (pictured), who divorced Lindsey in 2017 and raised the alarm

The court awarded full custody to Rylee’s father, Jamie Abbuhl (pictured), who divorced Lindsey in 2017 and raised the alarm

Rylee even started asking friends to wear shrouds at her own funeral.

Last year, a court ruled there was no evidence of any illness and Lindsey lost custody of her daughter.

The court awarded full custody to Rylee’s father, Jamie Abbuhl, who divorced Lindsey in 2017 and sounded the alarm.

Now Lindsey awaits further punishment after she was sentenced to four to six years in prison and $8,529.90 in restitution to victims as part of her plea deal.

She admitted second-degree child endangerment and fourth-degree robbery.

Stark County prosecutor Kyle Stone said, “Essentially, this plea was a way to end the various parties involved in this case.

“It was also the best way to avoid traumatizing a child who has already been through so much.”

Last year a document was obtained by The Canton warehouse, notes that a medical professional reviewed all of Rylee’s medical records related to neurology, genetics, gastrointestinal, hematology, rheumatology, pulmonology, and podiatry and concluded:

“There’s no evidence for Mother’s claim that Rylee is terminally ill.”

Abbuhl seen with Rylee at a concert.  The mother secured free tickets to shows and events

Abbuhl seen with Rylee at a concert.  The mother secured free tickets to shows and events

Abbuhl seen with Rylee at a concert. The mother secured free tickets to shows and events

Rylee has been seeing a counselor for the past three years to learn how to “cope with her own death,” the report said, without knowing that the girl was not terminally ill.

“(Lindsey) has also told the counselor, who is going on maternity leave, that Rylee may not be alive when the counselor returns,” the suit reads.

The story began when Lindsey started telling friends and neighbors that her homeschooled daughter was sick.

Lindsey herself had once claimed to have a brain tumor and even interviewed families to adopt Rylee after she died.

The family seemed beset with bad luck, and Lindsey documented her daughter’s hospital visits on social media.

“This little lady is my best friend! Please continue to pray for her as we navigate her medical concerns,” she posted.

A charity softball event held last year was covered in local media (above)

A charity softball event held last year was covered in local media (above)

A charity softball event held last year was covered in local media (above)

“We don’t know what her future holds, and we don’t know if tomorrow will come for her every time we go to bed, but the prayers and faith of all those we love help keep us going !’

As a supervisor at a bowling alley, Lindsey organized bowling fundraisers and organized a “Rylee’s Warriors” youth softball tournament in Plain Township to cover medical expenses.

‘Come out and join us in a short fun competition! For 10 weeks — will skip Easter Sunday.

Part of the weekly money goes to the bowling alley, the rest goes to Rylee. Send me a message if you want to sign up!’

Wishes Can Happen even sent Lindsey and her daughter on a trip to Key West, Florida.

Coaches and players from softball teams from Malone and Walsh Universities gathered for a “Rylee Day” at the Hall of Fame Fitness Center, an event centered around an indoor exhibition game between the two Stark County schools.

Rylee Abbuhl had gone to a counselor to help her deal with the apparently terminal diagnosis

Rylee Abbuhl had gone to a counselor to help her deal with the apparently terminal diagnosis

Rylee Abbuhl had gone to a counselor to help her deal with the apparently terminal diagnosis

Lindsey Abbuhl had previously claimed she had a brain tumor

Lindsey Abbuhl had previously claimed she had a brain tumor

Lindsey Abbuhl had previously claimed she had a brain tumor

Lindsey said Rylee’s organs were shutting down and the main goal for her was “quality of life.”

Personalized videos were sent to Rylee from pro star Sierra Romero, among others, as well as dozens of colleges from Penn State to UCLA.

Softball players from Rylee’s favorite team — Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana — took her on a virtual tour of the campus, including a stop at the scaled-down replica of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, where an Irish player lit a candle for Rylee, then shared a prayer from the chaplain.

The Texas A&M softball team invited Rylee to fly to College Station; she and her mother visited Sea World during the trip – something Lindsey said was on Rylee’s bucket list.

But Rylee’s father was starting to get alarmed.

He said she suffered from slow digestion and constipation.

“If she needed my heart, I would give it to her today,” he said.

“As far as she’s going to die, no.”

Lindsey and Rylee Abbuhl.  The little girl is now in the care of her father Jaime

Lindsey and Rylee Abbuhl.  The little girl is now in the care of her father Jaime

Lindsey and Rylee Abbuhl. The little girl is now in the care of her father Jaime

People within the community also began contacting the newspaper, The Canton Repository, questioning Lindsey’s motives.

When asked, Lindsey refused on multiple occasions to release her daughter’s medical records to The Repository for review. She was also reluctant to let doctors at Akron Children’s Hospital — where she said Rylee had been treated — talk to the newspaper.

“She’s got a whole team of doctors working on her,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey said the medical team ran multiple tests on her daughter but were unable to determine the cause of her illness.

She said her daughter had frequent nocturnal seizures, could barely eat, was on painkillers and was almost always exhausted.

“It’s sad that people have to cause drama,” she’d said.

“Rylee is indoors during her doctor appointments; she knows what is happening to her.

“So calling me a liar is calling her a liar.”