A cancer awareness advocate and fundraiser known as the unofficial mayor of West Seattle and who for the past decade has branded herself as a cancer patient and survivor may have faked her illness the entire time, KOMO reports. A rep from Susan G. Komen headquarters in Dallas confirmed the organization was informed by a family member that not only does Tracy Dart not have cancer now, she never did. "Komen was notified of this situation last week and has been in contact with Tracy's family," an email statement to the West Seattle Herald reads. "We are sad for Tracy and her family and hope that she, and they, will find healing in the days ahead." Dart's family reportedly found out she had lied about her cancer when she had to go to the hospital recently for a liver problem and the hospital couldn't find records of her supposed three bouts with the disease, "reliable sources" tell the paper.
Members of the group Dart founded to raise money for Komen are stunned. "The first words were 'she doesn't have cancer,'" Team Tracy participant Matthew Welch tells KOMO. "'She never had cancer' were the second words, and it just blew my mind." But he notes Team Tracy, which has now been dissolved over the news, did a lot of good—and the Komen statement, which points out Dart never personally received money from the group, says Team Tracy's California and Seattle members raised more than $414,000 for Komen since 2006, while Dart herself raised more than $28,000. "I wouldn't say we're angry," Welch tells KOMO. "I would say she needs help, and I hope she gets it." A Seattle Police Department rep tells the New York Daily News that they're in the loop, but it's unclear whether an investigation has been opened to look into possible illegal activity. (A beauty queen was accused of faking leukemia.)