Lift Up Iraland

Iraland Ramano is a teenager who has had a tough life.  Not only has she gone through family drama and the normal teenage growing pains, she’s done it while battling cancer.  She’s had a bone marrow transplant, tumors removed from her hip, several feet of her intestines removed and her kidney.  At one point, she lost all her memories from 2012.  Iraland has suffered constant seizures and on one horrible night, her heart stopped… for 35 minutes.

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Luckily, Iraland has some wonderful online friends (and a twin sister, of COURSE) who keep everyone updated on her roller coaster condition on a Facebook page called Lift Up Iraland.  Unfortunately, due to a lot of drama and people accusing her of being fake, Iraland has had to delete the Facebook page.  She also constantly threatens to delete her personal Facebook page and disappear to die alone if her online friends question any part of her story.

So, yeah, this is fake.  The problem is that Iraland’s online friends are completely convinced of her innocence  so I’m going to really go to great lengths to discredit this one.  The person behind “Iraland” has her friends held hostage emotionally.  They’re afraid to even examine the possibility she might be fake because Iraland gets very upset when questioned and they don’t want to unhinge a poor dying cancer patient.  Most of her friends are very young teenagers, so that might explain some of their hesitation.

Here is Iraland when she was intubated after having hallucinations about spiders and stars and developing an infection.

Because Iraland has told her friends that the picture was stolen from HER and dated 2009 in the blog linked, here are links to the Way Back Machine showing that blog page in 2009.  That’s pretty hard to fake, especially since Iraland claims that picture was taken in November of 2012.

Apparently, Iraland’s nickname is Liz, a name apparently given to her by a foreign exchange student at her high school.

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Here’s a picture from the real Liz’s blog showing this same crowd cheering her on.

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This is another case, just like the Abby Boudreaux hoax, where an online friend is lying to people she’s met on the internet and having them update her prayer page.  I’ve talked to several of Iraland’s friends and all of them are devastated by the illness and inevitable coming death of their friend.  Some have made awareness bracelets to pass out at their high school.

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They’ve also made prayer candle bags with Iraland’s name on them to raise awareness of her long fight.

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We do know the person who is behind this.  I’d like to hear from her before I put her name online.  Please email me at

48 thoughts on “Lift Up Iraland”

  1. The person updating this page contacted me on the page we keep up dated on my daughter’s real battle with cancer. I became intrigued when I realized “Iraland” had received a VAD, like my daughter, due to heart trouble from the chemo. My daughter suffered almost complete heart failure and has a VAD as a bridge to heart transplant. I was surprised to see Iraland had a VAD at one point but didn’t seem to have one latter. I commented and asked about that and was told that she had the VAD for 5 months to give her heart a rest to recover. I can’t remember how bad the heart trouble Iraland was reported to have but it all didn’t sit right with me. I know how serious the surgery is to receive a VAD and the length of recovery. To go through all that to only have it out 5 months later to just to give her heart a rest didn’t sit right with me. It’s a serious, risky, open heart surgery with a long, difficult recovery and I didn’t see any of that on the Iraland page. We have been told that there was an outside chance that the VAD could give my daughter a break and might allow her heart to recover from toxicity from the chemo. I might have even talked about that on my daughter’s page but again, she received the VAD because it was a life or death situation.

    There was at least one other thing I questioned on the page as a comment but I don’t remember what. As I read the page it just didn’t sound realistic. To many complications and near death experiences with such quick recovery. She would be at death’s door in one post and in the next a day or so later she would be at home or a friend’s house. The body fighting cancer just doesn’t work like that.

    I decided, at best, it was a friend who set up the page and was posting up-dates, getting second-hand info from the family and not quite getting it right and at worst was a fake. There were so many pictures which, in my experience, is different from other fake pages [which only seemed to post just enough pictures to make it look real]. Enough to give me pause about out right accusing the poster of being a fake. I decided it wasn’t worth my time to press further. I have enough trouble of my own so I walked away from it.

    Thank-you for taking the time to do this kind of work.

      1. Thank-you. She is doing well while she waits to go on the transplant list. She has to wait 2 years post chemo to prove she really is cancer free before qualifying. In the mean time we live a Ronald McDonald House, close to the hospital as the VAD posses many risks, another reason I didn’t buy Iraland’s need for one. It is a very expensive devise and the decision to have one is not simple. One other thing about Iraland’s story that struck me was that Iraland was still having chemo with the VAD in place. We have been told that if Bronwyn’s cancer returns chemo is out of the question. Her heart wouldn’t be able to take it despite the VAD. If Iraland’s heart issues really were bad enough to require a VAD I don’t believe she could have continued treatment. The Oncology team here had to work hard to convinced the Cardiology team that even though Bronwyn had just finished chemo they believed Bronwyn was in the 60% who will survive AML just based on how well her body handled the chemo, besides the heart failure. Cardiology was not about to spend so much time and trouble on someone who was going to die. They had to be convinced that Bronwyn’s cancer was not likely to return. I have never heard of anyone getting a VAD in the middle of treatment. Iraland’s use of the VAD just seemed so flippant and incidental.

  2. A teenager with only one friend on her personal FB page? That’s….odd.. I’m surprised she didn’t create a bunch of fake profiles to add authenticity. Kind of a lazy hoaxer, imo.

  3. Im curious if anyone has looked into the one “friend” this FB page lists….this person, Bella, is extremely interested in cancer. Check out her likes and suggestions…that’s all she seems to read about..oh that, Nev Schulman and Catfish….interesting.

  4. I am so glad that there are people out there like Taryn and Nev. Who are willing to put themselves out there to take the time to investigate those who are lying about who they are and what they are doing!! I have been “Catfished” twice (both were online) and I realized early on in the relationships that I was being lied to and I ended it. I am extremely careful when it comes to talking to guys online… I ask so many questions in a way of testing them to see if I’m being lied to. Also I only go to sites where they have web/video chat or use Skype. It is so sad that there people out there who take advantage of so many people who all they really want to do is be supportive and understanding of someone in need!! I really feel for Manti Teo ( he is a senior who plays football for Notre Dame) his grandmother died of cancer last September and then got a call from his girlfriends brother telling him that she lost her battle with Leukemia that same day!! As it turns out his girlfriend never existed…he had been catfished!! I don’t understand why there are people out there that do this…take advantage of someone who just wants to help or love them… It really makes me sick!!

    1. I’ve been Catfished (fantastic expression, by the way!) by somebody but did the same as you and stopped talking to them early quite early on. Unfortuantely they’re still around but I still have them on my friends list on Facebook as I’m keeping an eye on them.

      And I agree, thank God for people like Taryn and Nev! <3

  5. I like the term “catfished”, but I don’t think Teo was a victim of that. Both he and his father claimed to have talked to/seen the “girlfriend”. Plus, the person behind the fake accounts was a family friend. I think it is far more likely that the whole thing was concocted to give Teo a better shot at the Heisman trophy, by creating a compelling back story (beautiful girlfriend dies right before the big game, heartbroken guy plays anyway, and gives it his all in his best game ever…sounds suspiciously like the plot line of a bad movie). This story got him on the cover of Sports Illustrated, so initially at least it was pretty effective. What’s interesting to me is how this type of hoaxing can be used to serve so many different purposes.

      1. Limasse, I think Ann is making the point that Te’o and his relatives are on the record describing meetings and conversations between Te’o and various family members and the fictional Lennay. They didn’t actually happen, but Te’o and others claimed they did. Some of this comes from the the article on Te’o in the South Bend Tribune which has since been pulled.

    1. When will the update be posted.. Today is Tuesdsy I thought it would be here on Monday..anxious to see who is behind this.

      1. I find no post from you on January 22, 2013 about Lift Up Iraland here or on Facebook. What post are you referring to?

  6. This reminds me of the Cara Goodman incident in that she also had such a strong, emotionally manipulative hold on the people around her (although with Cara it was people in her real life too) with her fake cancer. It’s so disgusting that people would do this.

      1. I had a link in it to an article about that football player…do things with links get blocked? Kind of makes it look spammy…

    1. WordPress blocks links in comments automatically, so we didn’t even see it on this end. You can post them on our Facebook page though…which I can’t link in this comment 🙂 It is listed at the top of the blog.

  7. If Taryn and her group say that Bella is not involved, I firmly believe that to be the case. Rather than criticize Bella for her involvement or contribution, maybe a little empathy and compassion are in order. I am sure we have all had friends that have told us stories that we believed without first hand knowledge. She believed Iraland and did what she could to support her. Yes, she lied about having cancer and being in remission, and she has admitted and taken responsibility for it.
    Just the idea that she was “lured” into Iraland’s world with threats of not being her BFF anymore should be an indication of Bella’s insecurities.
    It seems so easy to look at all of this AFTER it has been “outed”. Like why didn’t anyone see it, the writing was right on the wall? As someone who believed the Warrior Eli story when it was in current time, it seems so obvious NOW how it was all a hoax. Hindsight 20/20!
    Bella, you seem like a nice, caring, young woman. I hope you find honest, caring and kind people in real life that get the benefit of your non-judgemental, supportive friendship. I’m sorry Iraland took advantage of your nature.

    1. Bella is just a kid. I’ve seen a ton of adults get sucked in by these frauds, so it’s not surprising that a young person would get caught up in this. I was initially concerned because she had posted about having cancer herself, but from what Taryn has said, clearly she was the victim here. And she was pretty darn brave to come here and talk about what happened.

  8. @verstrict-yes, that was what I was referring to. But I didn’t realize that the Tribune article was pulled. That’s weird.

  9. I’ve known Bella since I was in Kindergarten, and she would never make up a fake profile like this. I too was lured in by “Iraland” and it was really convincing. But now that I actually think about things, it’s all starting to add up that she in fact was fake. You guys are not understanding what Bella is trying to say, because you are totally changing her words around on her.

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