There are several variations of this letter in circulation, including a more recent one that reprints a poem titled "Slow Dance.” Most versions of the email essentially a paraphrase the letter below, urging readers to forward the email to as many people as they can, and list the American Cancer Society as a corporate sponsor. Other patient names used in this and similar emails include Rachel Arlington, Amanda Bundy, Craig Shergold, Justin Mallory, Jada Cohen, Megan (Marie) and others.
The story of Jessica Mydek has never been substantiated. The American Cancer Society does not endorse fundraising efforts using chain letters of any kind. Furthermore, the email address ACS@AOL.COM is inactive. Any messages to the American Cancer Society should be instead sent through this Web site. This particular chain letter with its heartbreaking story appears to have struck an emotional chord with online users. Although we are very concerned that the American Cancer Society's name has been used to manipulate the online public, we applaud the good intentions of all who participated in this letter. We hope people touched by this letter and others like it will find a legitimate way to support cancer research. Jessica Mydek's story, whether true or false, represents the feelings of many cancer patients who benefit daily from the efforts of legitimate cancer organizations nationwide.
The text of the original message reads as follows:
LITTLE JESSICA MYDEK IS SEVEN YEARS OLD AND IS SUFFERING FROM AN ACUTE AND VERY RARE CASE OF CEREBRAL CARCINOMA. THIS CONDITION CAUSES SEVERE MALIGNANT BRAIN TUMORS AND IS A TERMINAL ILLNESS. THE DOCTORS HAVE GIVEN HER SIX MONTHS TO LIVE.
AS PART OF HER DYING WISH, SHE WANTED TO START A CHAIN LETTER TO INFORM PEOPLE OF THIS CONDITION AND TO SEND PEOPLE THE MESSAGE TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST AND ENJOY EVERY MOMENT, A CHANCE THAT SHE WILL NEVER HAVE. FURTHERMORE, THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY AND SEVERAL CORPORATE SPONSORS HAVE AGREED TO DONATE THREE CENTS TOWARD CONTINUING CANCER RESEARCH FOR EVERY NEW PERSON THAT GETS FORWARDED THIS MESSAGE. PLEASE GIVE JESSICA AND ALL CANCER VICTIMS A CHANCE.
IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS, SEND THEM TO THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY AT ACS@AOL.COM