Living with a fraud: Cancer con victim speaks up
The victim of a woman who duped people into believing she was dying of cancer has spoken out for the first time.
Jamie Campbell lived with Lucy Wieland at a Douglas residence from March to August in 2018 after meeting Wieland through a mutual friend.
At the time Ms Campbell was living with Wieland, she was unaware her roommate was executing a well-researched theatrical ruse claiming she was dying of stage four ovarian cancer.
Ms Campbell said living with Wieland after she announced her cancer diagnoses was intense.
"She had a chalkboard in the kitchen with dates and times of her chemo and surgeries and I would come home after work to her on the couch saying that her skin is burning and her bones hurt from the chemo," she said. "She was bedridden for days and spent time on the bathroom floor by the toilet sick from chemo."
Ms Campbell said the fake cancer symptoms were not the only daily complication she endured as her roommate.
"(Lucy) was extreme to the point where she would only drink water if it was boiled and I couldn't have people over unless they were sure they weren't sick," she said.
"She quit eating meat, drinking alcohol, went almost vegan as she wanted to do it in a holistic way as she 'knew the chemo wouldn't save her' and she even quit smoking. "She went to great lengths to make her illness real," she said.
As Wieland convinced her loved ones and the public she was living her final days, the 28-year-old fraudulently obtained $72,000 in donations.
Although Wieland defrauded money from GoFundMe, the Townsville Baseball Association and a local barber, Ms Campbell said she also fell victim to her elaborate lies.
"I don't know how much I spent on her but I bought her flowers, chocolates, an air purifier and drinks when she decided she wanted to go to the pub because she said she was going to die anyway."
Wieland was sentenced to two years' jail in the Townsville Magistrates Court for multiple offences including fraud on Tuesday.
Ms Campbell said she finally had some closure after the sentence but emotional scars would always linger from Wieland's manipulation.
"I feel like we've all been played a fool and it took me a while to accept it because I supported (Lucy) 100 per cent," she said.
"For me it's just made me realise that if someone can lie about something like this, how can you trust anyone."
Originally published as Living with a fraud: Wieland victim speaks up