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School community fooled by leukemia hoax

11:49 PM, Nov 4, 2012   |    comments
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"It was such a big thing to support this little kid that was near death," said Mosness, a student at Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum.

Mosness says the entire school community thought Alexander was dying of leukemia. The story spread around town that he wanted to see an Eagle Valley football game, so the school dedicated their October 26 game to the little boy.

But, Mosness says students were told that that the boy died the day before the game.

"He was going to do the coin toss for the beginning of the game," Mosness said.

So, the entire student body and the football team donned orange to honor the boy who never made it to his football game.

"The football players had orange socks and orange stickers on their helmets," Mosness said. "For the dance team, their dance at halftime, they spelled out Alex's name on the field."

Parents like Kathy Rohlwing were moved by the actions of the students.

"This is a very caring, giving community," Rohlwing said. "It's like family. When they hear somebody has a need, they go all out."

The problem is police say the boy never existed. Eagle Police are now investigating 22-year-old Briana Augustenborg for spreading the fake story of Alexander. There was even a Facebook page created which had detailed diary of Alexander's experiences in the hospital and his bout with leukemia. The pictures posted of Alexander were apparently taken from a cancer website, according to the Vail Daily Newspaper.

Mosness says he and his classmates feel like they've been fooled by an elaborate con.

"It's not right. I don't think it's right for anybody to do that, to even joke about something this big," Mosness said. "I feel like we were kind of played because everyone was in on it. Even our principal, he played a big part in it."

Mosness says students put together a fund raiser for Alexander, but Augustenborg never asked for money nor she did she receive any.

"We were trying to think of why she would do it," Mosness said.

When 9News tried to call Augustenborg, a woman who answered the phone said that Augustenborg was not commenting at this time.

"I pray for her," Rohlwing said. "Apparently, she lacks so much in her life that she would do something like this."

Mosness says students are still trying to sort this all out.

"She's kind of messed up to come up with such a sad story, basically broke the heart of a lot of people," Mosness said.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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