WEST SACRAMENTO, CA - On Dec. 1, 2011, the VFW Post in West Sacramento was packed with well wishers and the family and friends of Jaymie Litza.
Everyone was there to support the woman who didn't have much longer to live.
More than a month later, they found out Litza lied about the entire thing.
"It's a sad situation," Litza's ex-husband Jeff Hill said. "It's something no parent should ever have to tell their children about."
Hill and Litza have three children together. Those same children spoke during the fundraiser dinner, thanking everyone for supporting their dying mother.
Litza had been telling her tale since May of 2011.
"It's something I don't even know how to get past," Hill said. "I'll take them to therapy; as well as myself."
Family and friends estimate that between that fundraiser and several other donations, Litza received around $20,000.
Litza said it was much lower, closer to $9,000.
"I am so sorry for everything that I did," Litza said through tears. "I made my mistakes but we're paying every dime back."
Litza said she's spent time in a hospital and is doing everything in her power to get well.
"I never meant to hurt anybody," Litza said.
She added she's been diagnosed with fictitious disorder along with bi-polar disorder and extreme anxiety.
"It had gotten so far that I made myself think I had it, I'm so heartbroken," Litza sobbed. "I just am so sorry."
"My family is paying people as we speak, my parents took a loan against their home to pay every single dime back."
By Nick Monacelli, firstname.lastname@example.org