Controversy Over Teen Who May Have FAKED a Brain Tumor for Free Disney Trips

epcot spaceship earth at night, moon overhead
Credit: Disney

There is no doubt about it; visiting the Disney Parks is expensive.

Every year, fans make major financial sacrifices to be able to afford a trip to Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort. These Disney vacations are not cheap; most families have to shell out thousands for a trip. Many fans claim they would do anything for a free trip to the most magical place on earth.

When it comes to one mother and daughter duo, they are being accused of going as far as toĀ fake a brain tumorĀ in order to get free trips to Walt Disney World.

Aerial view of EPCOT at night at Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Bioreconstruct

The Tragic and Horrifying Story of The “Believe in Magic” Charity

In 2011, a girl named Megan was diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension, which ended up being a brain tumor. This is devastating news for any child to hear, and immediately people empathized with their story. Years later, Megan’s mother, Jean, decided to create a charity dedicated to helping ill children. The charity was called “Believe in Magic.”

Believe in Magic ended up being a huge success. At its peak, it even gained the support of the boy-band One Direction and the former UK Prime Minister David Cameron. From the outside, the work of Megan and Jean seemed entirely honorable.

During this time, Megan continues to get hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal donations to help pay for her treatment in the United States. Jean and Megan received enough money to pay for numerous trips to America.

Festival of Fantasy Parade mickey

Credit: Disney

How a Mother Exposed Their Lies

During this time, Jo, a mother of a child with neuroblastoma, noticed something strange going on. She realized that all of the donation sites posted by Jean and Megan left out some major details regarding how the money raised would be used. Jo decided to investigate further. She created a fake Facebook account, which is how she found out that Megan and Jo had been staying at a “luxury lodge” located at Walt Disney World Resort. The luxury trip was being paid for by unknowing fans. This was enough for Jo to deduce that something fraudulent was going on.

Tragically, Megan passed away a year later. However, when her autopsy was released to the public, it became clear that Megan did not die of a brain tumor. In fact, she did not show any signs of having a tumor at all. Instead, she died of acute cardiac arrhythmia, which was likely caused by Megan’s “opiate-seeking behavior.”

Walt Disney World

Credit: Disney

This story is truly tragic in every way. Megan and Jean’s charity, Believe in Magic, was shut down by the Charity Commission in 2020.

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disneyā€™s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.