EXCLUSIVE – Cruel fraudsters are exploiting my tragic three-year-old boy’s cancer death: Mother blasts conmen carrying out door-to-door collections in youngster’s name just four weeks after he died
- Morgan Ridler died just days before his fourth birthday from a rare liver cancer
- His parents Natalie and Matthew set up a charity Morgan’s Army in his memory
A devastated mother has blasted cruel fraudsters she says are exploiting the death of her three-year-old son from cancer just four weeks ago.
Morgan Ridler died of a rare liver cancer in June this year after he was diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma in October 2021.
The little boy, from Gorseinon in Swansea, Wales, died just days before his fourth birthday after doctors said his treatment was not working.
His dedicated parents Natalie and Matthew set up Morgan’s Army Charitable Foundation in his memory, raising thousands of pounds to support families of children diagnosed with cancer with the slogan ‘No One Fights Alone’.
But the charity has now allegedly been targeted by fraudsters ‘attempting to capitalise’ on Morgan’s death by carrying out bogus door-to-door collections in his name.
Natalie Ridler, 33, has blasted cruel fraudsters she says are exploiting the death of her three-year-old son Morgan (pictured together)
Three-year-old Morgan Ridler was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in October 2021, aged two
Natalie and Matthew have been left heartbroken by the revelations, which have come as a heavy blow just four weeks after Morgan passed away.
Morgan’s devastated mother Natalie, 33, worries that it could undermine all the hard they have put into the charity.
She told MailOnline: ‘I think it’s pretty calculated. To defraud any charity is of course awful but to defraud a children’s cancer charity is almost another level.
‘In all honesty it made me feel disappointed because we’ve created such a good feeling around the charity and brought communities together through Morgan’s story.
‘It’s particularly raw because Morgan only passed away four weeks ago.
‘That’s my baby boy and I really want his legacy to be one of love and one of honesty and of helping people – not of people helping themselves. So it was really really disappointing.’
The physiotherapist said that she had received a Facebook message a few days ago from a couple of her supporters claiming that a man in a nearby town had been going door-to-door selling badly-printed hoodies with the charity’s logo for £40.
The man allegedly said he would post the makeshift hoody later for delivery after he had received the money in cash, with the aim of keeping it for himself.
Natalie was keen to reassure people that her genuine fundraisers are legitimate and are using appropriate protocols.
Pictured: Morgan’s funeral as a celebration of his life took place in Swansea on July 21
Little Morgan (pictured with his mother Natalie), from Gorseinon in Swansea, died just days before his fourth birthday after doctors said his treatment was not working
Natalie and Matthew set up Morgan’s Army Charitable Foundation in his memory, raising thousands of pounds to support families of children diagnosed with cancer
Speaking out: Natalie took to the charity’s Facebook page to ensure her supporters were donating safely
She emphasised the need to go through the charity directly when donating – for example by using PayPal or JustGiving accounts.
Natalie continued: ‘Some people have sadly seen an opportunity to capitalise on the buzz.
READ MORE: Community rallies together to give rainbow-coloured tribute to boy, three, with a rare form of terminal cancer
‘I’ve had to make sure that people understand that there are appropriate ways to fundraise and safer ways to fundraise that protect not only the donor but the charity as well.
‘I’m worried that people might second guess my actual fundraisers.’
In a statement posted on their Facebook page, Morgan’s Army said: ‘We have had word of unauthorised selling and use or the term ‘official’ for various clothing items or door to door asking for donations we were unaware of and believe there are people attempting to capitalise on the current buzz around our charity since the loss of Morgan for their own gain.
‘Our charity will not ask you to purchase items to sell upfront so anyone asking you to do so may be suspicious.
They added: ‘We’d hate to see any of your kindly given donations not reach as intended. If it doesn’t feel/sound right, it likely isn’t.
‘To those individuals, pretending to be from the charity, or raising money for our charity with no intention of donating the money is fraudulent behaviour/theft and can result in criminal charges.
Thousands of local people in Gorseinon near Swansea rallied through the streets in tribute to Morgan shortly before his death
A person dressed as Spiderman gave Morgan a gift as he watched the impressive parade
‘As a registered charity, we are committed to protecting our name and protecting our donors as per regulations set out by the charities commission and the fundraising regulator.’
The family announced his sad passing in an Instagram post in June, reading: ‘MORGAN GARETH JOHN RIDLER. 07.07.2019 – 28.06.2023.
‘Our beautiful boy started on his next great adventure at approximately 5.30am this morning. He was peaceful and comfortable with his family around him.
‘Although it was faster than we could ever have anticipated, Morgan was in control at the very end, knowing he was safe and we were with him.
‘No more pain now, you fought so hard for so long, you always smiled regardless, you always laughed, you always loved.
‘Although I wish this never happened to us I know that we are better people for having known and loved you. You’ve taught us to be more and love more.
‘In us you have inspired more love than I ever thought possible, you’ve created power for good and we are so grateful for you.
‘Our Morgs. Our Squishy.’
A tragic update on Instagram in June said: ‘Our beautiful boy started on his next great adventure at approximately 5.30am this morning’
Morgan’s death came just days after a community in Wales held a 7,000 strong community parade for him.
Thousands of vehicles including Harleys, supercars and fire engines took part in a parade past his home days before he passed away in Ty Hafan hospice.
Thousands of locals including the Hell’s Angels and an entire marching band rallied in support of Morgan.
Local roads were cleared of traffic as lines of motorbikes passed by the house from which Morgan lay watching in a garden outside.
Colourful bunting was also draped across the street as curbs and walls were painted in rainbow colours to mark the parade and pay tribute to the boy.
A person dressed as Spider-Man even delivered a gift to Morgan as he lay smiling in the sun.
You can find out more about Morgan’s Army and how to donate here.
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