New York woman’s terminal cancer under investigation after fundraising efforts netted over $60K from caring community

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A New York woman whose battle with leukemia united her community behind her is under investigation after skipping town, police said Saturday.

Residents around Ardsley village in Westchester County donated over $60,000 to Shivonie Deokaran and her family after learning in August she had only 18 months to live, The Journal News of the Lower Hudson Valley reported. Deokaran’s boyfriend denies any allegation she could be faking her terminal cancer.

Yet the couple moved with Deokaran’s two children to Florida last month after investigators working on a tip asked for her medical records, a police sourcetold WCBS-TV. Ardsley police, who have confirmed an investigation, didn’t immediately respond Tuesday night to requests for comment.

“I just really hope that she was honest with everybody because it will make it much harder to raise funds for other people who desperately need to be helped,” Paul Feiner, the town supervisor of Greenburgh, which includes Ardsley, told the News Journal. “I put her situation on the town website and, within 24 hours, we raised probably $12,000.”

Other efforts included a GoFundMe page called “Shivonie’s Fight Against Leukemia” and a spaghetti dinner organized by her son’s Ardsley High School football team in November. Deokaran, who was born in Guyana, and her boyfriend Nikhlesh Parekh ran a struggling restaurant called Samosa Cafe in nearby Dobbs Ferry.

“It’s unfortunate someone with cancer has to prove to anybody they have cancer,” Parekh told the News Journal.

 

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