Hannah Leigh Hume is a 21-year-old North Carolina woman accused of faking cancer in order to steal money from people. Hume was arrested on attempted theft charges on April 23 after a local motorcycle club canceled a fundraiser for her because they were suspicious about whether she was really fighting cancer, the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office said.
Hume actually did have and beat cancer in 2016, according to her Facebook page and a news report from the time. Her sister is also a cancer survivor and Hume’s mother and aunt both died of cancer when Hume was a young girl. All four family members had the same rare form of ovarian cancer. But authorities say Hume recently began telling people she had cancer again, this time a rare form of kidney cancer, and was asking for help to pay for her medical expenses. Hume raised money through GoFundMe and other fundraiser events during her 2016 cancer battle.
Smokin Souls RC contacted police about their suspicions about Hume, according to the sheriff’s office. The club had scheduled a June 15 ride to raise money for Hume. The ride is still scheduled to take place, but will benefit Jeff Vaughn, a local musician who is really battling colon cancer, according to the club’s Facebook page.
Hume, of High Point, North Carolina, was charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense, a felony, the sheriff’s office said.
Here’s what you need to know about Hannah Leigh Hume:
1. Hannah Hume Admitted She Didn’t Have Cancer After the Club Became Suspicious About Her Diagnois When Talking About Her Medical Bills, the Sheriff’s Office Says
The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation into Hannah Hume began on April 15 when a local recreational club told the Criminal Investigation Division that she was falsely claiming to have kidney cancer, according to a press release posted to Facebook.
“The club stated that sometime around the 1st of March they were approached about doing a benefit to help with medical bills for someone who had kidney cancer,” the sheriff’s office said. “The club members agreed and proceeded with planning a benefit along with a charity ride for June 15, 2019, for Hannah Leigh Hume. Recently they became suspicious after speaking with Hume about her medical bills.”
The sheriff’s office said, “Hume was interviewed by Investigators and admitted she in fact, did not have kidney cancer.”
Hume is the second Randolph County resident to be accused of pretending to have cancer as part of a fraud scheme in the past month, according to the sheriff’s office. Amy Ellissa Hammer, a 30-year-old Seagrove, North Carolina, resident claimed she lied about having lymphocytic leukemia in order to save her marriage. The sheriff’s office said she then began to let local groups hold fundraisers for her, including a church. She has admitted to the fraud and said she will pay the money back. She is four felony theft charges.
“When he said he was going to leave me, it was an impulsive thing. We’ve been together so long, I was scared, terrified. That’s my three kids, my husband that I’ve known for so long. So it was an impulsive thing and it snowballed,” Hammer told I have to deal with what I’ve done and that I hate myself,” Hammer told WGHP-TV. “But I am sorry, I have to live with this. What I have done has hurt a lot of people, a lot.”
2. Hume Chronicled Her Real Battle With Ovarian Cancer in 2016 on Her Facebook Page, Including the Surgery, Radiation & Chemotherapy She Endured
Hannah Hume chronicled her real battle with ovarian cancer in 2016 on her Facebook page, including the surgery, radiation and chemotherapy she endured over several months, before she was eventually declared to be cancer free.
Hume was diagnosed with cancer in February 2016 after being rushed to the hospital in pain on Super Bowl Sunday, according to her Facebook page.
Hume told Fox 8 News in 2016 that she had to make the decision to have her ovaries removed to save her life. During the interview, Hume said it “kills” her that she won’t have children of her own. She inherited a gene mutation, like her mother and aunt, who both died because of aggressive cancer. Another aunt also had her ovaries removed in a preventive measure. Hume’s mother, Karrie, died when she was 24 and Hannah was a little girl. Her aunt, Kristie, died a few years later of the same disease.
“It’s a very, very rare – there are very few cases in the country,” Dr. Thomas Russell, Hannah’s pediatric oncologist at Brenner Children’s Hospital, told the news station in 2016. “Because it’s such a rare disorder, we’re not, here at Brenner Children’s Hospital, we’re not just living in the silo of our institution or our academic center. We’ve relied on experts throughout the world to figure out how to best care for Hannah.”
Hume told Fox 8, “Life isn’t easy. There are struggles down the road that you’re going to have to deal with and some people say it gets easy, but it doesn’t.”
On Facebook, Hume posted updates about her battle with cancer, her chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and raised money through GoFundMe and other events. The community rallied around Hume at the time. People shaved their heads in support after she lost her hair and held fundraisers for her.
“LONG STORY SHORT: I checked in the ER Sunday night after the super bowl I got admitted that night I had a mass on my right ovarie and from my family past with ovarian cancer I had both ovaries removed I had surgery Tuesday morning and I’m being independent today had my thing that catches pee taken out and peeing on my own but all the doctors are proud of me on how fast I’m recovering the doctors won’t know what it is untill a couple weeks so I will let you know,” Hume wrote on Facebook in 2016. “9 more days idk I I can take it or not just knowing another year without my mom sucks. 8 more days till I go back to the doctor omg I’m so scared to know what it might be I pray to god its not cancer but I know my mom was right there at my bed side the entire time holding my hand telling me that everything is going to be okay and be strong through everything. When the doctor told me I had a growth on my ovarie I instantly broke down crying I didn’t know what to do but I know God knew what he was doing but I sincerely THANK everyone for their prayers and thoughts throughout my surgery.”
On February 26, 2016, she wrote, “Well you guys its small cell carcinoma(ovarian cancer) same cancer my mom had i start chemo in two weeks when he told me that it literally broke my heart i just cryed…..but its stage 1 im glad they caught it early just pray for me please. … You know its so hard for my dad to go through this with my mom having cancer, my moms sister,my sister and now me im sorry dad im so sorry it kills me that u have to go through this.”
She also wrote on Facebook about her mother, “Wow i can’t believe that today is moms birthday it seems like it was yesterday i was in her arms but now its hard to even talk about her without crying but so much is going on…… I know she is by my side watching me and are going to stay by my side through chemo therapy i love you mom soooo much and ima come see u today??”
In August 2016, she wrote on Facebook, “Well u guys i did it i fought the battle and beat cancer never thought i could do it there was some days where i wanted to give up but i didnt i kept going yayyy me thanks for the love and support you all gave me.”
3. Hume Is a Graduate of The Academy at Central High School, Works at a Fast Food Restaurant & Trained to be a Flight Attendant
Hume graduated from The Academy at Central high school in High Point in 2015, according to her Facebook page. Hume, a High Point resident, works at a fast food restaurant, according to her Facebook page. Hume has also managed a photography business, and as a cashier.
Hume also trained to be a flight attendant at JetBlue University in Orlando, according to her Facebook page.
4. She Was Released From Custody After Posting $5,000 Bail & Has Not Commented on Her Arrest
Hume was booked into the Randolph County Detention Center on April 23 and released on $5,000 unsecured bail an hour later, jail records show.
Hume has not commented about her arrest and it is not clear if she has hired an attorney who could comment on her behalf.
5. Hume Faces Between 4 to 25 Months in Prison if Convicted of the Felony Charge
Hannah Hume faces a potential prison sentence of 4 to 25 months in prison if convicted of the felony charge. Attempting to obtain property by false pretense is a class H felony in North Carolina if the potential value of the attempted theft is less than $100,000.
Hume is scheduled to make her first court appearance on May 13, the sheriff’s office says. Her court appearance will take place in Randolph County District Court.