Her cancer fight was inspiring - but ...

Her cancer fight was inspiring - but not true

There are 105 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Feb 16, 2008, titled Her cancer fight was inspiring - but not true. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

A little more than a year ago, physician's assistant Bridget Tierney started telling people she had cancer.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

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Minneapolis, MN

#1 Feb 17, 2008
I am a cancer survivor and I find this story so sad. Why anyone would pretend to have cancer is beyond me. I am so appreciative of all those who made dinners for me,sent me cards and gave me rides but it is beyond my ability to understand why anyone would do this. This woman needs psychiatric help!

Since: Feb 08

Nutley,NJ: now St. Paul, MN

#3 Feb 17, 2008
As a 5 year breast cancer survivor why anyone would pretend to have it is beyond me. This woman needs psychiatric help.

Wyoming, MN

#4 Feb 17, 2008
she obviously has a severe mental illness-only a sick person could do that. let this NOT detour us from helping people who really DO have cancer. My little 5yr. old had AML, and we greatly appreciated ALL of the help from EVERYONE!! there are sick people out there-
Mr T

Hayward, WI

#6 Feb 17, 2008
I am not surprised with this incident. In this day and age so many people
seem to either want to appear as a victim or rally around someone who is.
This even extends to animals who are victims, and which animals sometimes get more concern and caring from the public than people do.
This incident is an example of today's sick society--evidence of a nation
in serious decline.
Heynow Fafaflowlee

Phoenix, AZ

#7 Feb 17, 2008
I use the internet to research symptoms and diagnose myself with cancer everyday. Then I tell my doctor which RX to prescribe for me. What's the big deal?

Minneapolis, MN

#9 Feb 17, 2008
Ms Tierney, as a physician's assistant, has access to extensive medical information, and opportunities to really dig deep into what happens with cancer patients as they journey through their illness. At first, we thought she may suffer from Munchausen Syndrome, but when we found her house is in foreclosure, we were convinced otherwise. Ms. Tierney, how dare you play upon others' compassion and sympathies! Some day you may need them and find them to be in short supply for you. My sister is currently battling breast cancer, and we worry terribly for her and her future prospects. We do not not wish the real thing for Ms. Tierney, but look forward to a full exploration into criminal proceedings for fraudulent fundraising.
**To Ms. Tierney's friends and co-workers, bless you for your generous hearts - the world needs more of you! Please do not let this experience scar you - your efforts are appreciated!
**To all those who have had or are experiencing the tough fight for themselves, or their loved ones, our hearts goes out to you. We wish you wellness, healing, and love.
Its all about the money

Cottage Grove, MN

#10 Feb 17, 2008
"Now, Tierney's friends and co-workers and even the police are left wondering why and how the Stillwater woman kept up the charade so long".
She obviously is a head case. Looking for attention and for money. Sad really. The biggest negative is that all these coworkers and friends will probably be less inclined to assist the next person who does have cancer..........

Sun Prairie, WI

#11 Feb 17, 2008
With government's ubiquitous "helping hand" always extended, there is none so exalted as the victim. That's how we've (d)evolved since the New Deal and later, the Great Society. We've been conditioned to play this role for about 7 decades now. And what an opportunity for trial lawyers! Think John Edwards....

Pair that tempting status with a bit of financial desperation and you've got a near-perfect fit. Is it mental illness, or rash opportunism with this woman? I'm thinking 60% former, 40% latter.
GS and KS

Minneapolis, MN

#12 Feb 17, 2008
The only word I can think of is apalling!! My wife, KS, has been battling breast, bone & brain cancer for 8 years. Everyday she is so happy to be alive. She cannot live at home right now but she does not ever complain. Once a week she goes to the chemo center in Maplewood for her treatments. She is bruised, beaten, weak & tired...but honest and sincere. Her biggest thrill is to be part of the Tartan "Relay for Life" cancer walk in May.
Former patient

Minneapolis, MN

#13 Feb 17, 2008
I am shocked and saddened beyond belief by this news- Bridget Tierney has been my doctor for about 7 years. She always showed so much compassion and attention to patients that I recommended her to others and she gained three more of my family members as patients. She was always so together I cannot fathom what would have compelled her to go this far with such an extreme lie. A mental illness just does not seem to fit, but the whys and hows of this story really need to be filled in so friends, family, and patients can have some peace with the loss of the Bridget Tierney they knew and loved.

Since: Feb 08

Nutley,NJ: now St. Paul, MN

#14 Feb 17, 2008
Former patient wrote:
I am shocked and saddened beyond belief by this news- Bridget Tierney has been my doctor for about 7 years.
She is not a M.D, not a doctor. She is a physician's assistant,who must work under a licensed M.D. and has parameters of what she is legally allowed to do and not do.

Minneapolis, MN

#15 Feb 17, 2008
Why I read these comments is beyond me! Some of them are filled with so much hate and ignorance. Ha Ha wishes a person gets cancer....and Sue calls her TRASH. These people are more pathetic than Ms.Tierney. The people who made donations did so out of love and caring and God gives them credit for that. I think Ms. Tierney is a lonely woman reaching out for help.

Since: Feb 08

Nutley,NJ: now St. Paul, MN

#16 Feb 17, 2008
Former patient wrote:
A mental illness just does not seem to fit
Munchausen Syndrome.
Mark in Texas

United States

#17 Feb 17, 2008
Were I a scam artist playing on the sympathy of others, I'd have already fallen to my knees, declaring "It's a miracle! Praise the Lord!"

Since I'm not, I suggest judgement be reserved.

It's too early yet, but the local law enforcement needs to investigate, and if appropriate she should be tried, with whatever punishment allowed by Oklahoma laws if found guilty.
Mark in Texas

United States

#18 Feb 17, 2008
On second reading, make that Minnesota law, not Oklahoma. I ASSumed Stillwater was the city in OK, not one in MN. Learned something new today.

Minneapolis, MN

#19 Feb 17, 2008
This is another reason not to trust the medical profession and the policy making of universal health care. Why waste my time and effort to believe a MD assistant, who lied under oath about her condition in order to gain such publicity?
Calm down

Chanhassen, MN

#20 Feb 17, 2008
Relax Elizabeth McBride. Most people who see a physicians assistant for their primary care just say "my doctor". We all know she isn't a doctor. And I'm glad you are able to diagnose Ms. Tierney with Muchausen's just by this article. According to some of the other comments, she was having financial troubles so it is more likely that she did this for financial gain. Either way, she deserves to be punished.
Get a map

Chanhassen, MN

#21 Feb 17, 2008
Hey Mark in Texas, this in Minnesota, not Oklahoma.

Foristell, MO

#22 Feb 17, 2008
To Mark

I figured eventally someone would try to find deep sociological or political meaning in this tale. It's the government's fault, it's the New Deal's fault, it's the Great Society's fault for raising victimhood to an exhalted status. What nonsense! If that were true, we'd be seeing many more stories like this one, wouldn't we? It occurs to me that what makes this story newsworthy is that stuff like this rarely happens.

But more to the point, blaming the exhalted status of victimhood and laying it at the feet of liberalism of all things is phony. Put the responsibility for this tawdry affair right where it belongs--squarely with Ms. Tierney.

Stillwater, MN

#25 Feb 17, 2008
This is no different than the scumbag panhandlers I meet every day. I'ts just on a larger scale. Pretty clever actually. There are professional panhandlers that have large homes and nice cars. This lady is a thief of the worst kind and needs to be prosecuted. Of course we need compassion and understanding but we also need to quit making (and digging deep) excuses for every type of behavior. ADD, bipolar, spanked as a child, lonely etc. etc. Punishment not hugs teaches people right from wrong.

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