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Cody Medina
Cody Medina
June 3, 2024 ·  4 min read

Bride who faked cancer to raise $11K for ‘dream’ wedding gets 5 months in prison

Everyone wants to be able to have enough money saved for their dream wedding. Sometimes starting a GoFundMe can be a great idea to outsource money for a special occasion. Especially if you don’t think you’ll have the money when that special day arrives. However, there is definitely a wrong way to go about getting money from others. Unfortunately, this bride thought it was a great idea if she faked cancer to get what she wanted for her wedding.

Bride Faked Cancer

On photo of Toni Standen and her explanation of how she faked cancer.
Photo Credit: Mirrorpix / MEGA

It takes a lot of mental energy to just lie in general; let alone doing it for months and months at a time. For Toni Standen, 29, this was only a formality to her long-term goals of having the perfect wedding day. She created a GoFundMe page in July 2017 with a very grim disclaimer. Posting a photo with a long written explanation. Describing that she only had a few more months to live because she was diagnosed with cancer.

As you can see, she’s done everything in her power to be convincing. Unfortunately, these are only crocodile tears that are made to be anything but truthful. Through months of compelling others to donate money to her cause, she collected $11,000. For that, she has been sentenced to five months in prison by the Chester Magistrates’ Court. She’s even been ordered to pay back $2,700 donated to her by a local business. The more Standen faked cancer, the deeper this lie was sinking in. What’s even more upsetting is that her soon-to-be husband had no idea she was lying.

Sentenced To Five Months In Prison

Toni Standen, 29, from West Derby, claimed that her ovarian cancer later spread to other parts of her body and that she had received a terminal diagnosis
Photo Credit: Mirrorpix / MEGA

Standen’s husband was also a victim in this entire endeavor. James was convinced that his fiancé was actually terminally ill. Her friends were also just as compelled as he was. She said that every time they talked to her, she gave vivid details of the experience. At the time, no one thought that she was deceitful.

Things only got worse for Standen when she defied safety precautions as well as her condition. She took a trip all around Europe during the pandemic and then claimed she had COVID. This was the tipping point for most, and they started to realize that she was bluffing about virtually everything. The Chester Magistrates’ Court had some pretty choice words for Standen’s crimes.

“Every right-thinking member of society would be appalled by your behavior. Thankfully it’s not often this court has to sentence someone who has shown such a degree of shamelessness, such greed, or such a betrayal of friendship as you did to your friends and the wider community. Such was your lack of shame that you kept taking money from them over many, many months.” Declared District Judge Nicholas Sanders in Standen’s trial. (1)

Confessing To Faked Cancer

Toni Standen, 29, from West Derby, claimed that her ovarian cancer later spread to other parts of her body and that she had received a terminal diagnosis
Credit: CPS

Standen claimed that the situation was getting more serious and that cancer had spread throughout her body. That the cancer was now in her brain, organs, bones, everything. Standen was confronted by two of her very closest friends about the matter. She claims that’s when she openly admitted everything; it was ‘all lies.’ Texting back to them how embarrassed she was about the whole thing.

“At the minute, I don’t know if Jim and I will be getting a divorce, I don’t blame him if he does, and I don’t blame you both if this is the end,” Standen explained her current relationship with her husband. James was also there in court with Standen when she revealed the truth. (1)

What’s even more disheartening is that Standen’s father had cancer. His untimely passing before Standen’s wedding was a bleak reminder for everybody except her. A guest from her wedding pointed out how strange it was that she was unphased by her father’s words.

“After hearing her father’s labored words, she got up and gave a faultless speech, even cracking a few jokes. Her mother and brother were in bits. We’d all just listened to a father of the bride message from beyond the grave. Toni even received a video message from Everton FC, delivered by one of the top players. She laughed throughout.” (2)

The Conclusion

Toni Standen  and husband
Photo Credit: Mirrorpix / MEGA

Needless to say, Standen is in a heap of trouble. Not just with those she owes money to, but her entire family is now against her. Even though she has five months in prison, it’s the rebuilding of trust and love that will be the hard part.

Standen’s friends and family had never felt such betrayal and disgust before, especially by someone they loved so deeply. Pretending to have cancer is quite possibly one of the lowest ways you could fool others into giving you money. The consequences that Standen is being faced with are more than justified. Time will tell if Standen is deemed worthy of having that trust and love back in her life again.


  1. Bride who faked cancer to raise $11K for ‘dream’ wedding gets 5 months in prison.” NY Post. Lee Brown. December 23, 2020.
  2. Woman who faked terminal cancer diagnosis to pay for dream wedding is jailed.” Manchester Evening News. Tom Duffy, Rebecca Day. December 23, 2020.