When the Belle Gibson trial hit the news again recently all I was able to do was ‘watch on’ as a pathetic observer. I avoided talking about it with anyone. I refrained from commentary, aware of my own fragility around the topic. I chose to deny and ignore, so that my heart wouldn’t smash into a thousand pieces.
Everybody keeps talking about Gibson’s “unpaid fines” yet nobody is talking about the brain cancer patients who abandoned chemotherapy and radiotherapy to pursue Gibson’s dodgy health advice.
Nobody is talking about the brain cancer patients who placed their belief in ‘The Whole Pantry’ to gain a few more years of life.
Nobody is talking about the Australians who “allegedly died” because they turned their backs on conventional cancer treatments in favour of treating themselves ‘naturally’ because Gibson suggested it.
Reaping financial rewards via fraudulent conduct is one thing. Playing Russian roulette with the lives of cancer survivors and the terminally ill — is quite another. And sadly, it appears that Belle Gibson is a narcissistic sociopath who has shown no remorse for her actions and only has tears for herself.
My mother was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme grade IV brain tumour when I was 23 and was given three to six months to live. The doctors gave my mother her death sentence while she was eating breakfast in a hospital bed.
What does one do after being given a death sentence? Do they finish their bacon and eggs? Or do they go and hang themselves in the hospital toilets?
My mother fought. The brain cancer took away everything as it grew across the motor section of her brain: first it took away her ability to walk and she became stuck in a wheelchair; then it took away her ability to talk. Finally, it took take away her ability to control her bodily functions.
Mum fought like a motherfucker for four and a half years until she was prematurely euthanised under the guise of palliative care.
Brain cancer is traumatic for both the sufferer and loved ones. It rips you a new arsehole and you spend the rest of your days trying to mend the damage.
I cannot even begin to fathom the rage I would feel if my mother had been a victim of Belle Gibson — like so many Australians are. The journey is tough enough without the weighted bullshit from a manipulative and shallow fraudster.
Where is the enquiry into the welfare brain cancer patients and survivors who installed Gibson’s app ‘The Whole Pantry’ and followed her suggested diet? Where is the enquiry into people who followed Gibson’s healthcare advice, only for their health to decline? Where is there compensation? But lastly (and most importantly) where is the enquiry into people who ‘allegedly died’ while pursuing this fake guru’s health regime?
As Australian cancer survivor “Kate” – one of Belle Gibson’s victims – told MamaMia last month:
Belle never looked sick, and that should’ve been warning bells for me, but I think at the time I was just like most of us – and there were so many of us, who were literally just clinging to a tiny bit of hope that there was anything other than chemo and radiation that you could do to keep living. I wish there was an opportunity to have victim impact statements in Belle’s court sessions, just to show what she really has done. People aren’t hearing the true effect of what she did. She stole money, yes, they’re hearing all about the money but what about the lives that she played with?
The fact that this piece of scum (and let’s not mince words here — that’s what Belle Gibson is) continues to exist in the outside world, going away on overseas holidays and splurging on clothes and cosmetics — makes me sick to my stomach. So sick, that I’ve been emotionally unable to write about her — in fear of breaking down.
But the Karma Bus is coming for you Belle. I can confirm that it has left the station and appears to be heading in your direction, although the road might be long.
I wonder who’s driving? An angry cancer survivor that you fucked over?
Vanessa de Largie is a freelance journalist, sex columnist and public speaker that divides her time between London and Melbourne. You can find more of her work on her website.
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