A prominent Seattle cancer advocate and fundraiser has been accused of lying about her breast cancer diagnoses while she raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, KOMO News reported.
Tracy Dart, who has raised more than $400,000 over the past decade for the Komen Foundation, is under fire for reportedly lying about her three cancer spells.
A Washington state car dealer who helped Dart raise thousands to fight the disease said a member of Dart's "Team Tracy" contacted him to reveal that Dart had never been ill.
“She doesn’t have cancer—she never had cancer,” the representative said, according to Auburn Volkswagen owner Matthew Welch.
Welch said he wasn’t angry about the representative's accusation, telling KOMO, “I would say [Dart] needs help and I hope she gets it.”
Dart’s family recently contacted the Komen Foundation with similar concerns, KOMO reported. The foundation confirmed to KING-5 News that Dart fundraised for them, but added that Dart herself never received money in return.
“We are sad for Tracy and her family and hope that she, and they, will find healing in the days ahead,” Christi Ball Loso, a Komen’s spokeswoman, said in an email to the New York Daily News. “The Team Tracy community has been a steadfast supporter of our mission to end breast cancer since 2006. This money has been used as intended – for Komen’s research and community health programs.”
"Team Tracy" has since been disbanded and several of its social media pages have been removed. Dart’s personal Twitter page remained active and her bio describes her as a “3x breast cancer survivor.” A link to the “Team Tracy” blog has been blocked to outside users.
According to the Daily News, a 2010 profile in the West Seattle Herald reported she had been battling cancer for two years.
“I’ve tried so hard to find a good reason why I had to go through this, why this has happened to me, and why I am not having to go through this a second time,” Dart said in the profile. “All I can think of is that I am meant to get out and spread the word that breast cancer doesn’t just affect older women.”
A Seattle Police Department representative told the Daily News that police are aware of the allegations, but could not confirm if an investigation had been opened.
“The real victim is the real [cancer] survivors out there who are really going through the treatment,” Welch told KING-5.