A popular health blogger who reportedly failed to donate $300,000 in profits to charity has now admitted she was ‘wrong’ about the extent of her terminal cancer.
The Whole Pantry founder Belle Gibson, whose app has about 200,000 followers, claims she was ‘misdiagnosed’ by a doctor after announcing last year that life-threatening cancer had spread to her live, uterus, spleen and blood, The Australian reports.
The 26-year-old, who became a social media sensation when she launched her hit lifestyle and recipe app after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, says she feels ‘humiliated’ after a German medical team’s examination led her to announce she was battling a third and fourth cancer.
The latest revelations come just a day after it emerged that Ms Gibson may have misled her followers by failing to donate 25 per cent of the profits from The Whole Pantry – totaling $300,000 – to charity, despite promising she would.
Ms Gibson, who shunned traditional treatments to combat her cancer and instead opted for a wholefood and holistic approach to battling the disease, said she was confused by her misdiagnosis.
‘It’s hard to admit that maybe you were wrong… (I felt) confused, bordering on humiliated’, Ms Gibson told The Australian.
She revealed a medical team from Germany had examined her using ‘magnetic’ therapy and believes this investigation led to her misdiagnosis, although she declined to name the medical team.
In July 2014 she broke the news of her illness to her followers through an impassioned post to her personal Instagram page. It read in part: ‘With frustration and ache in my heart // my beautiful, gamechanging 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.
‘One is secondary and the other is primary. I have cancer in my blood, spleen, brain, uterus, and liver. I am hurting,’ Ms Gibson wrote.
Around 12 weeks after the initial post she followed up her initial post, revealing she was undergoing ‘German integrative oncology protocol’.
‘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.’
On Monday Fairfax Media revealed Ms Gibson had not delivered on her promise to donate 25 per cent of The Whole Pantry’s profits to charity, and reported she had lied about donating $300,000 in funds to a number of organisations.
Belle Gibson has traded heavily off her story as a young mother treating terminal brain cancer with nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
Today the founder of popular food app the Whole Pantry is facing a backlash over unpaid charity proceeds and has been accused of deleting critical comments from the company’s official social media pages.
Fairfax Media on Sunday revealed Ms Gibson, failed to hand over money raised through two charity drives in 2013 and 2014. Four of the five charities promoted as beneficiaries had no knowledge of the #fundraising campaigns, which included a function and an online promotion promising to donate app sale proceeds.
Belle Gibson said the company had been unable to pass on money raised due to cashflow problems.
Ms Gibson said the company had been unable to pass on money raised due to cashflow problems and had hired external accountants to manage its struggling finances. The Whole Pantry posted a detailed statement to its vast online following on Sunday night in which it said the company’s books were not in order and that it fully intended to make the charitable payments.
“TWP’s new business management and accounts team are working through the workload of bringing the accounts and business up to date and all charities have been openly communicated with and are aware of our intentions to uphold this financial support when the necessary keepings of the business are finalised,” it said.
But the statement sparked a slew of criticism against The Whole Pantry and Ms Gibson. Followers said the company had deleted negative posts from its Facebook page and blocked those who questioned its fundraising activities on social media. Comments casting doubt over Ms Gibson’s story of cancer survival are also believed to have been deleted.
The Australian has since revealed that Ms Gibson is now claiming that her most recent cancer crisis is a “misdiagnosis” by a doctor that she won’t name. Ms Gibson has also misled the media about her real age.
SOCIAL media star Belle Gibson, whose claim to have survived terminal brain cancer helped launch a mini-empire, has reportedly admitted she may not have been suffering multiple, life-threatening cancers after all.
Ms Gibson founded a company that launched The Whole Pantry wellness app, which has been downloaded 300,000 times, as well as publishing a book which will next month be launched in the US and Britain.
The Whole Pantry yesterday blamed poor accounting after a report claimed it the company had solicited donations from followers but failed to pass them on to nominated charities. TWP denies the allegations, referring to Ms Gibson is a “former Managing Director” of the company.
Adding to the confusion, The Australian this morning reports Ms Gibson admitted her previous claims that she had cancer of the liver, uterus, spleen and blood was based on “misdiagnosis”.
She would not name the doctor involved.
“It’s hard to admit that you’re wrong,” she was quoted as saying, adding she felt, “confused, bordering on humiliated”.
Doubt has been cast over Melbourne social media entrepreneur Belle Gibson’s “inspirational” story of cancer survival, as close friends and doctors question her illness and her publisher admits never checking the story.
It comes as Victoria’s consumer watchdog launches an inquiry into fundraising activities run by Ms Gibson who withheld thousands of dollars in charity proceeds.
Fairfax Media on Monday revealed The Whole Pantry founder failed to hand over proceeds solicited in the name of five charities and had grossly overstated the company’s total donations to different causes.
Now, five people in Ms Gibson’s inner circle – each acknowledged in her new book – have revealed their concerns about the app developer’s life story and cancer claims.
Fairfax Media understands some friends held an “intervention” at Ms Gibson’s beachside apartment in Elwood last last year, questioning her about her illness. “She admitted her diagnosis was questionable,” a former friend said.
“I asked her when she got her diagnosis, she said she didn’t know. I asked her who gave her the diagnosis, she said Dr Phil. I asked if Dr Phil had a last name she didn’t know, he disappeared. I asked her where she saw Dr Phil, she said he came and picked [her] up from [her] house.”