Mom Shaves Daughter's Head and Tells 7-Year-Old She Has Terminal Cancer to Get Money


Hannah Milbrandt was 7 years old with a cough and fever when she was taken to the doctor by her mother, Teresa. The visit should not have been so memorable or eventful, but it changed her life.

Hannah, now 21, remembers she felt mildly unwell but still underwent a scan. Teresa gathered the family together to break the news that 7-year-old Hannah had cancer.

Supposedly, the scan revealed a tumor at the base of the young girl’s spine. Her father, Bob Milbrandt, burst into tears upon hearing his daughter had cancer that was even described as possibly terminal.

The family’s church and community went to great lengths to show their support for the family and especially Hannah. Not only did the congregation and small Ohio town offer their prayers, but they also offered their money.

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They held bake sales and fundraisers, which led to raising around $31,000 for the cancer treatments and expenses.

A teenage girl who was sick herself and bound to a wheelchair had been saving money for nine years for her own expenses, but generously donated all those savings to Hannah’s cause.

The 7-year-old girl grew very self-conscious about the changes in her appearance after the cancer diagnosis. Teresa required her daughter to wear a surgical mask.

Teresa was a home-care nurse, and administered Hannah’s “medication” herself. Hannah said, “But it just seemed to make me feel worse — I started getting awful headaches, and felt exhausted all the time.”

Then she woke up one day to find that her head had been shaved. Her long blonde hair was gone.

Teresa explained that the cancer nurse, Beth, shaved it while Hannah was asleep. Oddly, Hannah had never actually met her nurse.

Beth was supposedly administering chemo only when Hannah was not awake. Bob’s job required frequent traveling, which meant Teresa was always the one to take the kids to the doctor and Hannah to her appointments.

Teresa and Hannah’s maternal grandmother would go for ice cream before the “appointments,” and it would make her sleepy. When she woke up, her mom would tell her “the doctors had given (her) a shot of medication.”

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Appointments scheduled when Bob made himself available to join were always canceled. The family was recognized in public as the community got to know them because of Hannah’s “terminal cancer.”

According to the Mirror, Hannah explained, “I hated it, but Mum lapped up the attention.” The attention completely shifted when a teacher noticed the young girl’s hair was growing in normally rather than in patches like one would suspect of a cancer patient.

Teresa was reported and confronted. She admitted to making up the cancer diagnosis.

She used to call Hannah her “million-dollar baby,” and now it all made sense. Hannah didn’t lose her life to cancer, but lost out on a normal childhood during that season of life.

She experienced real fear about dying and then about losing her family. Teresa’s Munchausen by Proxy claim was rejected, and she was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

Hannah told the Mirror she wants to be social worker because she hopes to “help people who’ve been victims of abuse…One day, I hope to have kids of my own, and I know I’ll be the mum that monster never was to me.”

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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