Middle School Special Education Teacher Allegedly Faked Cancer

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"In April the school district became aware of rumors that her medical condition did not exist. So in response the district started a review of the medical documents she submitted stating she had this inoperable form of brain cancer," Appleby said.

What the district noticed, according to Appleby, was that the medical documents she submitted -- including a Federal Family and Medical Leave Act form with a cover letter -- were not on any official letterhead, even though many said they were signed by Dr. Jonas M. Sheehan, a neurosurgeon at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

"The district sent letter to the doctor, and he said he had no idea who this woman is. At that point they turned it over to us and we confirmed he had never treated her," Appleby said.

According to police records, the district confronted Herneisey in late May and she allegedly admitted to forging the documents. She resigned from her job.

"I arrested her on July 7th, she turned herself in with her attorney," Appleby said.

Appleby said Herneisey wrote letters of apology to the surgeon and the district, and appeared frightened to be in the trouble she was in.

"This is the first time she's ever had a run-in with the law. She isn't the typical person who would do something like this. She was very nervous, very emotional, and very regretful," Appleby said.

Teacher Allegedly Faked Cancer, Got Free Trip to Disney World

Herneisey was charged with 12 felony counts of forgery and was released on $10,000 bond.

Right now the district attorney is only pursuing the forgery charges, Appleby said, with hopes that teachers and friends who donated money for her trip to Disney World will pursue that matter in civil court.

According to her lawyer McGowan, Herneisey is currently seeking medical help as she awaits her arraignment on Aug. 5.

"She's had better days. Right now she's pretty miserable," said McGowan.

Herneisey's husband and children had no idea she had told people she had brain cancer, McGowan said.

"Her family knew nothing about it, it shocked everyone. This has been tough on her family, there's a lot of tension there with her husband," he said.

"She's in counseling, and we're trying to get her to the right people. I just hope in the end whoever does the judgment on her takes into consideration all the good she's done," McGowan said.

Appleby said he believes Herneisey is a good person who made a terrible mistake, telling a lie that got out of control.

"How do you say 'just kidding, I don't have a brain tumor'? At that point, you're committed," he said. "She got to a position where she created this monster and she had no way to kill it."

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