There will be a new update on Jason and Julian posted here in the next few days as well.
Thanks to Nightline for a job well done!
Jason Martinez has really had terrible luck in the health department. At 34, he’s been battling cancer for at least five years. It started with cancer in his stomach, but now he’s absolutely riddled with it throughout his body. He and his husband, Julian Baker Martinez, have turned to the internet to help raise money for the many expenses that have cropped up during Jason’s cancer journey.
Here’s the intro post that Julian wrote with details about Jason’s illness.
Aside from their GoFundMe page, Jason and Julian have a Facebook group dedicated to drawing attention to their plight. It has almost 7000 members and consists mostly of links to the GoFundMe site and sad updates about Jason’s many struggles.
The couple is also attempting to raise money to buy a car to take Jason back and forth for treatments. They’re also hoping to use that car to move to California, where Medicaid covers a greater portion of the expenses for cancer treatment.
Aside from his tumors, bone cancer, heart issues and seizures, Jason also has breathing issues and has to wear a cannula in his nose at all times in order to prevent his lungs from collapsing.
Jason also suffers from a painful condition due to medical negligence. Staples were left in his stomach during surgery to remove tumors ten years ago. Now, these staples have rusted and are working their way out of his body. Because of this, Jason suffers from rusty blood and is on dialysis once a month.
Then, in September, Jason contracted pneumonia and needed to be hospitalized. He was in very bad shape. One doctor told him that if he didn’t go to the hospital, he’d be looking at his death bed.
Jason claims to be on Medicaid in Alabama. He says that one of the reasons his cancer has progressed to stage four is because the hospital where he receives treatment won’t do chemotherapy unless he can pay co-pays each time he goes in for chemo.
According to the Medicaid website for Alabama, there are some small co-pays for doctor visits. However, there are absolutely no co-pays for chemotherapy appointments.
The rusty blood ailment that Jason claims to suffer from is also rather mysterious. Staples that are used during surgery are titanium. They don’t rust. Even if they did, the amount of rust that could possibly have entered his bloodstream would be very unlikely to cause damage that would warrant dialysis. I did a search for medical malpractice claims involving rusting internal surgical staples and came up empty.
Jason claims that he needs dialysis once a month for treatment for his rusty blood. He says the co-pays for this treatment are $25o a month. As you can see from the screen shot from the Alabama Medicaid site, there are no co-pays for a Medicaid patient undergoing dialysis in that state.
For someone who is on 24/7 oxygen, supposedly to combat collapsing lungs, Jason also posts pictures where he’s out and about without his cannula. Jason and Julian have befriended a woman from Germany who has embraced their cause. She’s made many, many collages of pictures of the two of them, and only a very small number of pictures, most taken on the same day, show Jason with a cannula in his nose.
Jason and Julian call themselves a married couple but have admitted on Facebook that they’re not actually legally wed. They use several different names: Jason Dulworth, Jason Taylor, and Jason Martinez and Julian Baker, Julian Baker Martinez, and Alton Julian Baker. Both Jason and Julian have arrest records, one for a minor theft and one for passing a bad check.
After researching this GoFundMe fundraiser, which has raised almost $2000 for the couple, I have some major questions for Jason and Julian.
If anyone has interacted with this couple or donated to Jason’s cancer fundraiser, please contact me at email@example.com.
Special thanks to J.T., a friend who is an EMT-P, for his help with some of the medical aspects of this post. Also, thank you to Alison Arngrim for research assistance, and to the wonderful anonymous ladies who help get to the bottom of these things.
Gigantic thanks, as always, to Diana Almanza, Google expert and incredible friend, for her invaluable research and help.
Poor Emily Wilson has been through the ringer after a year-long battle with multiple kinds of cancer. Emily has been blogging on Tumblr, WordPress and on support group sites all over the internet about her struggles. She’s had to endure a colostomy, the loss of her uterus and she wrote extensively about the difficulties of being only 22 and knowing she’s going to die. Her words touched many, including Greg Lee, the Chief Financial Officer of Livestrong.
Melissa Canaday, mother of “Modern Family’s” Sarah Hyland participated in a tribute walk in LA in Emily Wilson’s honor.
In the last few weeks, Emily’s been placed in hospice care and her sister has kept Emily’s many many followers and online friends updated on her health struggles.
At least twenty of Emily’s online friends responded to this, offering Emily love and support and her family best wishes for peace in accepting her death. They wrote about what an inspiration Emily was to them and how when their own cancer battles were difficult, they thought about the hell on earth that Emily’s has been and felt comforted.
Emily, though, is not dying. She is not even a real person. Her pictures were taken from this Flickr account belonging to a young woman from South America. One of her supporters asked for her phone number and another her address. From that information, we were able to find “Emily’s” real name and we discovered this wasn’t her first time faking illness and death online.
Jamilla Bigby was an active poster on several cancer blogs in 2013 writing about her battle with kidney cancer. She had a WordPress journal and a blog on MedHelp. She interacted with cancer patients all over the web, even receiving paper cranes from Randi’s Cranes for Hope and displaying them around her room.
When Jamilla’s cancer advanced and she became too sick to update her followers herself, a cousin stepped in and updated for her.
Jamilla’s online friends mourned her death.
But Jamilla Bigby isn’t dead at all. She’s very much alive and a medical student at Morehouse College in Georgia.
Jamilla posted a document about ending a lease at her rental apartment earlier this year. On it is the same address where Emily Wilson accepted cards and care packages.
If you interacted with Emily Wilson or Jamilla Bigby during their “cancer battles,” and especially if you sent either one care packages or money, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org