Local woman reacts to cancer fundraising scam

Leatha Slauson

MASON CITY, Iowa – It’s every parent’s nightmare, their child is diagnosed with cancer, but a dishonest diagnosis has proven to be detrimental as well.

Leatha Slauson of Atlantic, Iowa has been arrested for lying about her child’s cancer diagnosis. It was all part of a big plan to have friends, family, and even perfect strangers, raise money for the family’s so-called medical bills. Slauson was so successful at raising money for her family, that residents of Atlantic held a fundraiser where thousands of dollars were awarded to the family including a trip to Disney World.

Christine Helmer of Mason City, has known this family for nearly two decades. She tells us that when she heard of the tragic news that her friend was in need, she jumped right into planning mode and hosted her own fundraising event that brought in more than $8,000 for the family. Helmer tells us she received a call from another family friend explaining what had been happening, and says she was, “shocked” and “heartbroken,” but she wasn’t the only one.

She says, “a lot of people gave, and gave, and gave to this family, and there is just a lot of people heartbroken and crushed over everything that happened.”

Slauson has been charged with one count of felony child endangerment, and is facing other charges for her actions. Police say that she acted alone in this fundraising effort, and that the child’s father has been cooperating with authorities throughout the investigation.


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