Team Jess

Poor Jess.  She’s just 18 years old and was diagnosed with Hodgkins Cancer (her words, not mine).  She’s very frightened and needs support, so her adoring mother, Linda, started a Team Jess Facebook page for her.

On February 20th, Linda posts that Jess is very upset because she started losing her hair.

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This would obviously be very traumatic for anyone.  There’s just one thing…Jess hadn’t even started chemotherapy yet.

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Jess posted a picture for her followers, asking them to wear purple in support of her fight.

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Unfortunately, soon after, Jess took a turn for the worse.

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Unfortunately, Jess’ condition continued to deteriorate.  Her mom kept everyone updated.

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Tragically, on Monday at 9 PM, Jess died.  Her mother was devastated.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, eleven hours after her death, Jess was posting away on her boyfriend’s Facebook page.

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(Sadly, the two lovebirds seem to have broken up last night.  Long distance relationships between the living and the dead are hard to maintain).

Anyway, the person behind this one used her real name.  She is eighteen year old Jessica Friend of Freeport, IL.  This isn’t her first rodeo in faking stuff online.

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Her Twitter account is also pretty amazing.  Check out all the different characters she claims to be in the span of just a few months.

Seventeen year old pregnant teen.

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Sister of a four year old cancer patient.

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Pregnant with twins (of course).

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Jessica also befriended the real life mother of a young girl with cancer.  Here are some text messages the two exchanged.  (Jessica’s texts are highlighted in green)

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Real Jess’ boyfriend is, of course, also named Jeremy.

Lots of this has been deleted in the last 24 hours, but we have everything saved.

Here’s the Team Jess Facebook page.

Here’s the fake Facebook page of Jess’ mom.  The updates about Jess’ “Hodgkins Cancer” were posted there.

Here’s Jessica Friend’s real Facebook page.

Two different twitter accounts.

Jessica Friend, we’d love to hear from you at

52 thoughts on “Team Jess”

  1. This makes me absolutly furios. My daughter has been fighting HL for almost 10 years now. She was dx at age 9,relapsed at age 12 and again at 15. Anyone who fakes cancer needs to spend one day on the Oncology floor….this is unbelievable.

  2. Did she make up the friends as well? I noticed everyone used “loose” instead of “lose” (on the hair post.) Would everyone consistently make the same grammatical error?

  3. What I don’t understand, in this case and in all of these cases, is why nobody says anything. Someone in this girl’s life must have stumbled across the lie, does nobody recognize this as a sign of mental illness, or do people believe teenagers go through pathological liar phases that are entirely permissible?

    1. People online tend not to speak up because they don’t want to assume that the person is lying in case the story is really true. A lot of times people in their lives may not even know they’re doing it.

    1. To O: What? I swear you are the same person as a dozen other names commenting on here going back to Chelsea. You sound exactly the same and you complain about everything like you can’t see the actual story. It’s odd.

          1. Why does it matter? Again, all I’ve done is say how condescending I think this article sounds. Is that against some blogging law I don’t know about?

      1. It’s NOT condescending in the least. It doesn’t talk down to any one just points out the obvious. I know condescending is a big word and makes you feel/sound smart. Unfortunately used so out of context you actually sound pathetic and scared. Afraid you’re going down with her?

      1. Good point CAM that is. Seems weird why someone would take so much time to keep pointing out rude stuff when they could just stop reading. And get so agitated about it and obviously stay glued to the comments to keep up with the replies. Bloody odd.

        1. I don’t understand why it matters who points out what.

          Plus, glued to the comments? It’s called email updates. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has selected that.

        2. I wish Tarryn or the Warrior Eli team would tell us when the same person comments anonymously. I can obviously tell this person has commented under several names. It’s amusing but also sad and pathetic. Chelsea really did a number on this poor girl.

          1. What’s wrong with you all? I’m not here trying to start shit with anyone or bring up doubts about articles. All I’ve said here is; “Why do you have to sound so condescending when you write these articles? Goddamn.”

            Why is that such a big deal?

          2. And then people replied to you. Why is that a big deal? Why is that when they do what you do it’s “starting shit”?

  4. This will be unpopular here but I have to agree with Heather. Taryn’s writing does come across with a very condescending tone. No matter how many times she says she’s fair and balanced and doing this out of the goodness of her heart, there’s no mistaking the contempt in her writing and it’s obvious she enjoys watching these people squirm. Sorry Taryn, I think you’re great, but thats my observation.

    1. I do appreciate opinions and comments that don’t agree. I would hate for people to worry about posting thinking their comments will be unpopular.

    2. I was hoping I wasn’t the only one who noticed that. The very first posts of this blog sound fair and state facts, but I assume the longer the blog was up, the more comfortable Taryn felt to write. But now these articles all have a condescending tone. Go back to stating things straight up, Taryn. Straight facts, even if boring to read, make you sound like a better person.

      1. You are one to talk about being a “better person” LMAO. Taryn, I love your posts. You have dealt with these hoaxers so much kinder than any of us would have. Thanks for all you do and keep up the good work!!!!!

    3. I find that there are very few editorializing comments on any of Taryn’s articles, even when the subject hoaxers are outrageous and, to be honest, don’t deserve a flattering portrayal of their deceit. In fact, the only note I can remember from this post that wasn’t purely reporting the timeline/facts was the funny aside about relationships between the living and the dead. For someone who not only reports on but has direct dealings with people who lie and impersonate for attention/sympathy, I think Taryn is remarkably even-tempered. I don’t see a basis for this argument in anything I’ve read on Warrior Eli.

  5. Just an FYI. I decided to remove comments referencing the comments made by Heather (including my own). I’d like to keep this blog as drama free as I possibly can. If anyone wants to discuss that situation, please contact me by email at

    1. … why not just block her IP? Seriously, she’s an obnoxious twit who does nothing but come here to stir up drama. She offers no reasonable conversation or opinion, she just comes in and acts like a delusional mess. If she’s as sick as she appears to be, cutting her off would be doing her a favor.

  6. I love the bit of humour taryn writes in”relationship between living and dead must be hard to maintain”…. Lol keep up the good work taryn

  7. Isn’t it pretty clear that this hoaxer is definitely not an adult? It sounds like she’s claimed to be both 17 and 18, but from her videos with her friend, I would guess 13, 14 at the absolute oldest. It would be interesting for Taryn to discuss that.

    1. I initially thought the same but there are videos of them on YouTube and Jess is driving a car in them so she is at least old enough to drive

  8. I just added her recently. The night her “mom” said she had passed, I quickly went back to see what had happened in the previous days. When I couldn’t find anything definitive, I went back to the comment where she said “Jess was gone” and the whole status update was missing. It really is sad that here I am, willing to advocate for all children stricken with this ruthless disease, but have to be suspicious and leery about who I “share” and “like” because of this kind of crap. Even my own daughter was called a fake on Twitter by a fellow ADULT SURVIVOR. I was appalled but can definitely understand the apprehension.

  9. That is the worst part of all of the hoaxes. I have a friend whose four year old son is battling cancer for the second time. As a mother I know how terrified she must be. I toyed with the idea of making a page for him, but decided not to mainly because I didn’t her to have to deal with people who have seen one too many hoaxes and might decide his was one too. I hate how jaded these hoaxes make me feel.

  10. Jess has some serious mental issues. She simultaneously strung along my husband and I, along with 2 other couples, saying she was pregnant and looking to place her baby for adoption (she was not pregnant). I personally spoke to both the school social worker and the school resource officer at her high school. The SRO informed me that the state attorney was looking to press fraud charges as she fraudulently posed as the SSW both to myself and our agency SW. She later contacted us again, from the same IP address, using a different name. I genuinely hope that she gets the help she clearly needs, she is looking for attention through several inappropriate avenues.

    1. Your story sent a chill down my spine – so not only did she extensively deceive people online, but she actually impersonated someone over the phone? How did you end up finding out that Jess was behind it? I hope you found out relatively early on and that you didn’t become too emotionally involved, especially believing, apparently, that she had a baby you could adopt. Not quite clear on why her school would have been involved with adopting out her child, though! Hope you found an honest person and a child in need to complete your family.
      Also, as someone who’s absolutely horrified by the lack of remorse from Jess, I hope that fraud charges are indeed pressed.

    2. Ugh, this should be my last comment, but I wanted to add – if I remember correctly, doesn’t Jess have a very distinctive childish-sounding voice with a speech impediment (YouTube videos were shared above)? It seems unlikely that she would be able to convince anyone she was an adult social worker, much less for a long period of time, so hopefully you caught her quickly!

  11. Thanks, M. Fortunately, after about a week, we were able to put the pieces together. Jess never actually got as far as phone conversations with the agency. She did Skype with my husband and I on two occasions, and she does have a voice as you described. She created a gmail account using the SSW’s name and emailed both us and our agency from it. She told us that she was in a teen mom group at school that was facilitated by the SSW and that the SSW was going to help her. We referred Jess to our agency, and she contacted them using the fake SSW address. Since I am a teacher, I found it particularly odd that a school official would not utilize their school email address when acting on behalf of a student. Additionally, the gmail account had a user/profile photo associated with it. Coincidentally, Jess had the same photo (and other photos of this woman) on her Facebook page. Funny thing though, the SSW’s name was different than the woman’s name on Facebook. Again, being a teacher, I know that staff email addresses are usually listed on the school website, so I looked up the school email address to the SSW. Knowing full well how it would play out, I forwarded my last email to the “SSW” to the actual SSW and said, “Just wanted to make sure you received my last email.” She responded that I must be mistaken, because that wasn’t her email address.

    After we talked to the school officials, and our agency did as well, a police report was filed (by all 3 couples) and an investigation ensued. I followed up with the SRO a couple times and was told the state attorney was still going through all of the evidence all parties had submitted. My last email to check in at the end of February went unanswered. I do have a police report number, and after stumbling across this web page, am tempted to call the police department to see what ever happened.

    And in regards to lack of remorse, our agency SW asked the school if Jess felt any, and they said, “Only that she got caught.”

    Additionally, they said that when they interviewed her boyfriend about it, he almost threw up when he learned of what Jess was doing.

    In the end, I’m just thankful that my experience as a HS teacher aided me in sniffing out her games and that I was savvy enough to put the pieces together. My dear, sweet husband wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt until I heard back from the SSW.

    And, finally, thank you for your kind words. We were blessed with a beautiful baby girl February 24.

    1. That is so convoluted, so conniving, so sociopathic – I just don’t know what to say. Actually, what I want to say is that I am glad she was caught, I sincerely hope all possible charges are pressed since it seems Jess has not hit rock bottom or felt any remorse and this will continue, and most importantly, congrats to you on not being destroyed by this brat and persevering in having your daughter!

  12. This just happened to me!!! I just figured out it was a scam yesterday. She also made up that she was “Alyssa Bernal” a famous singer and “Anthony Guajardo” an actor. If you get a facebook message from Linda Friend, Rochelle Diamente, Jessica Friend, Alyssa Bernal, Jules Bernal, Olimpia Bernal, Anthony Guajardo or anyone else affiliated with these people…REPORT!!! This is disgusting. She is in Shelby, Montana now. What can I do about this????

  13. She is one of my friends. I’ve known her for four years now. She wasn’t a liar like this in the beginning when she first moved here. But it seems like she’s gotten worse and done things like this in the past year or so. She’s told me that she is now a movie star/model in California when I know that it’s not true. I never thought she would sink this low and do something like this. I’m sorry to anyone she may have offended. I will try to talk to her about this, but she’ll probably just deny it. And please don’t call me stupid for being her friend. I am not in on any of this. She has her good moments. This just wasn’t one of them.

  14. I use to date Jessica but as of the 9th of January 2015 here is an update on that no good lying idiot.
    teen with impersonating a cop on Instagram

    By Isaac Guerrero
    The Journal-Standard 
    Posted Jan. 9, 2015 @ 1:11 pm

    FREEPORT — A Freeport teenager who posted photos of herself on Instagram donning a police hat, badge, baton and handcuffs was charged Thursday with impersonating a police officer.

    Police said Jessica Friend, 19, also posted false information online in which she described herself as a law enforcement officer working on various criminal cases. Friend was charged last year with filing a false police report in which she claimed she was abducted and sexually assaulted.

    Friend is in the Stephenson County Jail on $20,000 bond.

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