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Woman who allegedly faked cancer appears in court Add to ...

An Ontario woman who sparked outrage and international headlines when she was allegedly caught faking terminal cancer and taking money raised to help her is expected to be back in court Wednesday.

Ashley Kirilow, 23, who police say pretended to have cancer, appeared at a bail hearing Monday handcuffed, wearing a long, beige dress and sporting short hair.

Photos on a Facebook page for the charity Kirilow created show the young woman with a scarf wrapped around her bald head.

In court Monday the 23-year-old woman from Burlington, Ont., who had turned herself in to police, spoke to the judge in a tone barely above a whisper.

Police allege Ms. Kirilow defrauded people between August 2009 and April 30, 2010. She is facing three counts of fraud under $5,000.

After a brief appearance her scheduled bail hearing did not get underway and was adjourned to Wednesday.

No family members appeared to be present at the hearing. Ms. Kirilow is estranged from her family and both her parents had said they wouldn't show.

But two women who say they befriended Ms. Kirilow when they thought she had cancer attended the hearing.

Jackie Musial, 21, and Meredith Dejonge, 25, said their former friend looked embarrassed and sad during her short appearance.

"She just looked quiet, she kind of scanned across the room, and I think she realized who Meredith and I were," said Ms. Musial.

"I kind of hope that she felt uncomfortable. She put a lot of people through a lot of misery finding this out."

As for Ms. Kirilow's subdued appearance in court, Ms. Musial said she doesn't believe Ms. Kirilow showed genuine remorse.

"I don't think it was genuine, unless she was embarrassed, and that's why she's so quiet," said Ms. Musial.

"Like I said, she knew what she was doing, so I don't think she feels much remorse. If she does, like, I don't know. I'll believe it when I see it."

Ms. Musial said she didn't donate money to Kirilow, whom she met last October, but comforted her during her supposed illness. Ms. Dejonge said she only gave Ms. Kirilow $10 for a T-shirt to support her, but didn't make any other contributions.

Both women say Ms. Kirilow was much changed Monday from the last time they saw her, sporting a bald head and wrapped up in sweaters and scarves.

Photos on a Facebook page for Kirilow's supposed charity, Change for a Cure, showed Kirilow making fists with her hands to show off tattoos on her knuckles that read: "won't quit."

Other photos, which have since been taken down, showed a pair of hands wrapped in tubes and taped in needles.

Police allege Ms. Kirilow passed herself off as having cancer and organized fundraisers with the help of others who believed her to be terminally ill.

One published report last week quoted her as saying she was sorry for what she has done and that she said she has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder

Ms. Musial, who hadn't heard from Ms. Kirilow in months when news of her alleged fraud went public, said she doesn't think anyone will bail her out of jail.

"I wish her the best of luck trying to find help from anyone who knows who she is at this point," she said.

"I don't think anyone's really going to believe her. Everyone's going to know her as the girl who faked cancer. It's hard to escape when it's tattooed on your hand."

Ms. Kirilow's father, Mike Kirilow, said his daughter called him on the weekend begging him to be at Monday's bail hearing, but he told her he wants nothing more to do with her.

Her mother, Cindy Edwards of Brantford, Ont., said she and her family are distraught, after having tried everything to help her troubled daughter.

Mike Kirilow said he and Ashey's stepmother received a phone call from Ashley in January 2009, telling her father she had cancer and asking for a bone marrow donation.

Immediately, Mr. Kirilow said he and other family members offered to be tested to see if they would be match, but soon he discovered his daughter was not actually being treated at the place she claimed to be receiving her care.

Ms. Kirilow then cut off all contact with her father, who said he left messages saying he would contact the police, who could knock down her door to see if she was OK.

Ashley Kirilow made a statement on Facebook this year, saying it would be her last post because she was dying of cancer.

Mr. Kirilow called his daughter and after several conversations she revealed to him that she did not have cancer.

He said she told him she shaved her head, shaved her eyebrows and plucked her eyelashes to appear to have the illness.

None of the allegations against Ashley Kirilow have been proven in court.

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