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Whole Pantry's Belle Gibson has book withdrawn

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/11479507/Whole-Pantrys-Belle-Gibson-has-book-withdrawn.html

Penguin says it will not publish book by author who claimed to have beaten 'terminal brain cancer' through good nutrition.

Description: Belle Gibson said she will release a statement later in the week
Belle Gibson said she will release a statement later in the week  Photo: Penguin
By Josie Ensor, San Francisco
10:12AM GMT 18 Mar 2015
Belle Gibson’s story was a remarkable one.

The 26-year-old single mother seemingly defied a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer by shunning conventional medicine and instead simply eating healthily.

Her tale of survival against the odds attracted worldwide attention. Everyone wanted to know the secret of how to beat the killer disease.

Hundreds of thousands subscribed to her social media accounts and Australians flocked to buy her hit recipe book The Whole Pantry - a quarter of the proceeds of which she promised to donate to cancer charities.

But all may not have been as it appeared. Doubts have now been cast over whether Australian Ms Gibson ever even had cancer to begin with.

Suspicion was first raised when the chosen charities revealed that the money raised from the book and the app - some £150,000 - never reached them.

Then friends started to come forward with their own concerns about “holes in her story”, such as her age and details of her medical history.

When the allegations began surfacing, thousands of photos and social media posts on Ms Gibson’s account which referenced her cancer were deleted.

Description: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03236/Belle-Gibson2_3236355b.jpg
Ms Gibson said thather home address, her floor plan and her son’s childcare details were shared (visual-therapy.com)

On Tuesday, Penguin said it would not publish her book in the UK next month as planned because it had not received "sufficient explanation" from the author on the doubts around her story. The book has also been withdrawn in the US and Australia. Her app has also been quietly pulled from sale in the US and Australia.

Ms Gibson said she will release a statement later in the week and added that her home address and her son's childcare details have now been posted online.

“I understand everyone’s anger,” she told the Daily Mail. “But our address being posted online to a website is not okay."

Ms Gibson said that along with her home address, her floor plan and her son’s childcare details were also shared on social media.

“My son's childcare details were posted online in the midst of this, so I'm sure you can understand how unnecessary, concerning and threatening that is,” she said.

When contacted earlier by local newspaper The Australian all she would say is that she may have been misdiagnosed and that “it is hard to admit that maybe you are wrong”.

Now there are growing calls for her to return the money and apologise to her followers.
The mother-of-one broke the news of her illness on her Instagram account in July 2014, telling followers she did not expect to survive beyond four months: “With frustration and ache in my heart // my beautiful, game-changing community, it hurts me to find space tonight to let you all know with love and strength that I've been diagnosed with a third and fourth cancer,” she wrote.
Description: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03236/Belle-Gibson3_3236357f.jpg
“One is secondary and the other is primary. I have cancer in my blood, spleen, brain, uterus, and liver. I am hurting.”

Three months later, she wrote another message - one that would gain her hundreds of thousands more followers offering their comfort and support.

“I'm following the same, yet amplified holistic medicine treatment plan, taking what I need from each respected modality; herbalism, acupuncture, nutrition etc and a new addition to it all with a German integrative oncology protocol. It took me a while, but I'm back in (adjusted) full force and taking each day as it comes.”

 

She later made scattered references to worsening pain and holistic therapy in Bali.
One friend, who was very close to Ms Gibson, says the young mother was always elusive when she offered to attend medical appointments with her. “She’d always just change the topic and wouldn't let you broach the topic,” she said. “She claims that she was having treatment (chemotherapy) when she was pregnant with Ollie but no doctor would treat someone like that when they were pregnant.”

Another said the age she told friends she was was not the age she told the public.
It has also emerged that neither The Whole Pantry business nor Ms Gibson were lawfully registered as fundraising enterprises, a situation that could lead to huge fines and potential prison sentence.

When asked about where the money was, Ms Gibson cited disappointing sales and miscalculated profit margins. However the app was reportedly downloaded 300,000 times at £2, meaning, at face value, the business would have had earned more than £500,000 from downloads alone.

Many fans have since expressed their concerns about the upcoming international book release and ask about obtaining refunds for both the book and the app.

One follower, Lisa Forrester, wrote on her Twitter account: "I bought your app. I bought your cookbook. I read about you in Marie Claire. I watched you on various TV shows. I followed you on Instagram. I rooted for you and felt sad for you when you posted about your cancer spreading. And now I am just appalled. You deserve to pay back every cent."

Jayme Smith, a former friend of Ms Gibson’s told the Daily Mail Australia: “I am just so shocked and I feel betrayed, that we all fell so hard for the illusion that she created. I just want her to confirm or deny (her diagnoses) so people who put their faith in her, invested in her - they need to know.

“They need to know, if they've rejected conventional medicine on what she's saying. It's their lives, it's not a game.”

Ms Gibson’s story had offered hope to cancer-sufferers around the world, and if the allegations prove true, thousands with terminal illnesses will likely be left feeling betrayed.

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