Survivor pens blog post, forgives Sweetwater woman who faked cancer

Johnson University student writes letter to Ashley Lively to forgive her

Cassidy Roberts

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A cancer survivor wrote a letter to the Sweetwater woman who admitted she lied about having cancer. Ashley Lively is under investigation for more than $8,000 in theft.

Ashley Lively (Facebook)
Ashley Lively (Facebook)

A blog post by Johnson University student Cassidy Roberts is gaining traction online. Instead of talking about anger and frustration, she wanted to send a message about love, forgiveness and faith.

Roberts was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 18 and has been cancer-free for three years. She wrote the letter Wednesday after seeing dozens of posts from people frustrated with Ashley Lively.

“I think I was trying to say I’ve been there. I’ve had it. I’ve lost someone to it and I am okay with this. I am saying it’s okay. I’m saying we forgive you. I’m saying we love you,” said Roberts.

It was somewhat personal for Roberts, Sharing the story on the blog, she talks about her battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma that included chemotherapy and eventually becoming cancer-free.

“I was sorry that she had been let down and that we, as Christians, didn’t fill her with love,” said Roberts.

Previous story: Family: Sweetwater woman plans to pay back donations after faking cancer

While the outcome turned out well for her, it was a different case for her grandmother who had ovarian cancer.

“When it runs in the family and it takes someone from you, you know, you can’t help but miss them dearly and have sort of a despise for the disease itself,” she said.

Despite all of this, she wrote that she’s not mad at Lively and above all, she wants her message to show that love and forgiveness are powerful and that being angry doesn’t help.

“I hope that whatever she’s looking for in life, she finds it in something that’s bigger than just faking cancer,” said Roberts.

More online: Read the blog post

Roberts says she hasn’t spoken to Lively about the letter. It was her first blog post and she didn’t think it would get so much attention.

Lively, against whom no charges have been filed yet, issued a statement about the blog post Thursday:

For the woman that wrote that blog really opened my eyes. I know a made a huge mistake with everything and have been very ashamed in my self for it & then seeing that was just wow. She is truly a great person. For someone that’s actually going thru it to forgive me like that just warms my heart. For her to look thru what I’ve done and understand my struggles really helps me to know that there’s still hope. There’s still hope for me to change my life around for the better! And if I could meet her face to face I would just hug her neck and cry and tell her how truly sorry I am. She’s the true hero and she doesn’t know it but she truly has helped me open my eyes to keep trying to make things better and to never give up. Because God can fix anything. And I just wanna tell her thank you, thank you for seeing past peoples flaws and forgiving when she shouldn’t have to! She is truly an inspiration

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