Susan G. Komen Puget Sound says money raised by Tracy Dart for its foundation ‘has been used as intended’

(UPDATED 8:01 PM with information about 2011 personal-expenses benefit)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Puget Sound Susan G. Komen Foundation says it is confident that all the money raised for its breast-cancer-fighting efforts in the name of West Seattleite Tracy Dart and her local associates went to the foundation.

We inquired with Komen today after receiving numerous inquiries over the weekend about this report by the West Seattle Herald quoting an unidentified source as saying Dart may have fabricated some part or all of her reported three-time, seven-plus-year cancer fight.

Senior public-relations manager Christi Ball Loso told WSB via e-mail:

Komen was notified of the situation last week and has been in contact with Tracy’s family. We have not been contacted by law enforcement.

Our records show that Tracy personally raised $28,541 for Komen starting in 2006, and that her Seattle and California teams raised more than $414,000 since 2006. This money has been used as intended – for Komen’s research and community health programs. And, we can assure the community that Tracy did not receive any funds from Komen. The organizations that receive Komen funding go through significant vetting to assess their program impact.

The biggest question people asked us: Is the fabrication allegation true?

As we told those who contacted us in various messaging channels this weekend, that question so far has not been answered on the record by anyone. But today, the Komen Foundation discussed the fundraising questions on the record.

Since getting questions starting on Saturday, we have attempted to contact Dart, her family, and members of Team Tracy, the contingent she led in the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk over the past decade. No one has confirmed (or denied, for that matter) the allegation. Those we did reach had heard something only second- or thirdhand.

WSB archives include more than 50 mentions of Dart’s fundraising. Those mentions include community fundraisers to benefit her medical bills and living expenses (such as this one in 2011 (see update at end of story) and this one in 2012). They also include fundraisers for Team Tracy’s cancer-fighting efforts, as well as the West Seattle 4 Oso campaign that she spearheaded in 2014 to help the landslide survivors in Snohomish County. And she was involved with other cancer-fighting campaigns; in 2012, we covered her keynote speech at the West Seattle Relay for Life.

In addition to Komen, one contact who was willing to speak on the record is Matt Welch at Auburn Volkswagen, which provided a pink VW that Dart used, as part of the dealerships community involvement. He told WSB by phone today that they actually had two cars, one which Dart used for about a year, between October 2013 and November 2014. Welch stressed that the company does not feel it was taken for a ride, so to speak, and wants to emphasize the benefit for breast-cancer awareness that it feels came from its involvement with Dart.

As for Dart herself, your editor here saw messages on her Facebook page a few weeks ago, attributed to a family member, that she was extremely ill and in a hospital. (Her page was “friends” with our page, as is the case with many people we have covered in the past eight years.) Those messages said the illness did not involve cancer but did not say anything about her allegedly not having battled that disease. Just before the page was deleted, a message apparently from Dart herself said she was fighting the liver disease cirrhosis and planning to drop out of social media until further notice. It did not say anything about her reported past bouts with cancer. The page has since become inaccessible, as have pages involved with Team Tracy, and her onetime TT blog-format personal site also is now no longer publicly visible.

Originally, she had said she was first diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in March 2008, at the age of 33. She was involved with fundraising before that, having first been in the 3-Day Walk in 2006. WSB archives’ first mention of her involved a fundraiser in The Junction in summer 2008. In a 2009 message about 3-Day fundraising, she spoke of her fear of a recurrence.

The most recent fundraising-related mention of her in our archives was from October 2014, at a high-school volleyball game that raised money and awareness for Komen.

If and when Tracy Dart and/or her family has anything to say publicly, or anyone else with insight on what the truth is here – we will report it.

ADDED 8:01 PM: Since publishing this story, we have heard from a community member involved with the 2011 benefit that raised money for Dart’s living expenses. The community member, who asked not to be identified, says that benefit raised just over $7,300, with about 50 businesses donating items to be auctioned, and about 200 people in attendance. The money that was raised was placed in a trust. When Dart requested money for a living expense – rent, phone bill, car repairs, drugstore, vitamin store – a check was written to the payee, not to Dart, said the community member, who wanted to assure those who contributed that “the money went to what we said it would go to.” The $7,300 was spent over the course of four months following the benefit.

67 Replies to "Susan G. Komen Puget Sound says money raised by Tracy Dart for its foundation 'has been used as intended'"

  • Barry February 1, 2016 (3:21 pm)

    You would think Susan G Komen would want to distance themselves with someone alleged to have committed such a fraudulent act.  I’m more concerned with the funds for her “medical bills and living expenses.”  If these rumors were unfounded, I’m sure someone in her family would have already come forward. Sickening.

    • Elizabeth MacKenzie February 1, 2016 (4:20 pm)

      Komen has a reputation for not having breast cancer as their number 1 priority in terms of supporting people with breast cancer with funding for services or research.  Although they fund a significant amount of research nationally, they spend a great deal more on other activities. They have also  been widely criticized for using breast cancer as a marketing tool, for example, their very lucrative partnership with the NFL, for which very little money goes to support people with breast cancer or to breast cancer research. There are many articles on this subject but here is a key article, published in the NY Times in 2013.

  • WS gal February 1, 2016 (3:22 pm)

    We are all hurt and beyond upset, but this article shows clearly why the West Seattle Blog is not a gossip column.   Thank you for the research.   

  • Mary S February 1, 2016 (3:29 pm)

    Thanks for being our reliable source for news.

  • Cynical girl February 1, 2016 (3:44 pm)

    This cancer survivor is not very happy hearing this. She needs to volunteer at a hospital on the hospice wing. 

  • richard February 1, 2016 (4:08 pm)

    My god,  This has been confirmed by numerous sources close to her and Komen themselves. Ya, great she convinced people to raise money for Komen and she did raise money herself that went to them….. but.. she also convinced people at her personal fundraisers to give her money for her bills. There was a go fund me page set up for her.. the guy from Auburn VW is nice, but she got a car to drive… now she’s hiding out, she needs to be investigated for FRAUD. There is not one thing she’s done to justify anything. She’s betrayed lifelong friends and an entire community. …

  • B February 1, 2016 (4:09 pm)

    Regardless of Ms Dart’s behavior, it sounds like nothing wrong happened with the money. While it would be sad if she lied about herself to help raise money for cancer, I’d think that would be a personal issue on her part; people donating to Komen know what they’re donating for. 

    • WSB February 1, 2016 (4:35 pm)

      B – just to be clear, as Richard notes, and as we did note with links in the story … there WERE personal fundraisers, and Susan G. Komen obviously can’t speak for those; unless someone sues (I checked court records these past few days – no lawsuits of any kind so far) or files a police report, or unless Tracy Dart herself makes a statement about her financial records, we won’t know about the total of the money donated to her personally. But at the very least for starters Susan G. Komen has verified that what people donated in their name – via 3Day pledges, etc. – did go to their programs. Those kind of donations tend to be made online and don’t go through the hands of the people who solicit them.

      • eastcoastgirl February 2, 2016 (5:37 am)

        that’s not entirely true. Sometimes the donors will hand those participating in the SGK events checks with their names on. I only know this because as a past participant in their events  that is what was done with me. Not everyone likes to give their credit card details online. While I do not personally know Tracy. I find it really hard to believe that her family was as clueless as people are claiming they are. I was told that they were a tight knit group. I grew up in a tight knit group myself and you didn’t so much as sneeze while you were in one county without your parents hearing all about it when you got home. I hope that she does get the help she needs and that if that means jail time then so be it

        • Beachsider February 2, 2016 (9:56 am)

          I know the family. They did not know and they are shocked. To be clear, they are the ones who “broke” this story by going to Komen with what they had discovered. 

    • Tara February 2, 2016 (10:50 am)

      But she did take money for herself… lets be clear.  LOTS of help directly to her from locals. Some cash, some shift coverage at her work, some direct bill paying, free drinks.  She was profiting. And, her stories were inconsistent … they say she had cancer 3 times, but some of us remember hearing about it more than that.  She was s thief. She did good for Komen, but I find it odd that they are not up in arms over this! It affects honest real patients at a core level! 

  • Elizabeth MacKenzie February 1, 2016 (4:10 pm)

    I want to echo what others have said. Thank you for your clear and careful reporting. Even if the allegations end up being true, the role of the press is to inform, rather than make an already beyond awful situation worse. If shaming people helped people behave in more healthy and prosocial ways, as a psychologist, I would be shaming people for a living.  Potential consequences are better dealt with by our justice system and if true, by our mental health system. As a breast cancer survivor, breast cancer advocate, and member of our wonderful West Seattle community, this situation makes me incredibly sad.

  • Peter Skeptic February 1, 2016 (5:56 pm)

    People lie. A lot. I personally never trust anyone I don’t know regardless of their sob story, and I only trust those I do know when they can cite sources. Never ever give money to causes or fundraisers for an individual. Research and verify the legitimacy of non profits before giving. I assume every story is a con unless I get definitive proof to the contrary. 

  • West Seattle Hipster February 1, 2016 (6:12 pm)

    So shameful, does she not have a conscience?  

  • Lauren February 1, 2016 (6:15 pm)

    Thank you WSB for carefully pursuing the truth in this story and not running with unverified, unnamed sources just to get an article up. 

  • JanS February 1, 2016 (6:34 pm)

    If the allegations are true, then she is suffering from a mental condition, and needs treatment.@ Peter Skeptic…I am a cancer survivor of 11 years. And more recently, as many of my fellow WSB commenters know, I have had a rare kidney disease, dialysis, transplant, over the last 5.5 years. This community, and members from the forum, had a fundraiser for me for living expenses at the now defunct Feedback Lounge. I am insulted by you, PeterSkeptic, for lumping us all together as scammers. How dare you, frankly. This is a wonderful caring community, and they were very generous to me and for me to help me get through all of this. There will be more people, too, who need our community’s help….maybe even you. We are NOT all liars and cheaters. We do not shut ourselves off from compassion to our fellow people. You may as well go live in a cave somewhere. Since this broke , many of us have asked about what will happen when the next one needs help. I certainly hope they don’t all end up bitter and skeptical, and do nothing. We’re too good for that. It’s a big world, and sometimes it does take a village to support each other.I hope Ms. Dart gets the help she needs. And I hope she must make restitution to all those who donated to her personal fund. Many in this community need to put their pitchforks away for now.

  • Mary S February 1, 2016 (7:47 pm)

    Jan S (and others), I can guarantee I am not going to become an embittered skeptic. Hang in there!

  • Bunkerhill February 1, 2016 (8:14 pm)

    The money donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation was definitely donated. No one can dispute that. What the organization doesn’t know is that Tracy held several fundraisers under the premise of raising money for the organization.  One has to question if all the donations really ended up in the pockets they were supposed to. In addition, the websites are reporting she raised about $24,000 for the Komen foundation. That is just the amount donated under her name. She personally raised much more than that, but when it came time to deposit the money for the Komen foundation, she would often split it up amongst her teammates; especially the ones lacking the $2,300 minimum needed to participate in the 3 day 60 mile walk. Splitting it up in this manner would make it pretty easy to skim off the top without someone becoming suspicious. I’m not saying that happened, but at this point you have to at least explore that possibility. Ask any member of Team Tracy and they can vouch for this often used donation behavior. As for the fundraisers held for her personal interests, who cares if there was a trust and it was all legit, the money would have never been donated if she weren’t sick with cancer. The scam was she lied about having cancer, not what she said she was going to use the fraudulently obtained money for. There is a lot of investigative work yet to be done. 

  • LINDA February 1, 2016 (8:49 pm)

    l hope this is not true, since I have lost family members to cancer. I hope she speaks out soon it will put west seattle at ease. Have a good night

  • coffee February 1, 2016 (10:28 pm)

     I have been involved with many fundraisers.  Sometimes for a national campaign, and sometimes for a person with an issue.  I have contributed to both.  I have always asked up front where the money will be going, i.e. to a person or an agency so that I know exactly where my donations will land.  I also research agencies to see how much of their money is used for good and how much is used for operational expenses.  That is a main one to check.

  • Nuff Said February 2, 2016 (6:38 am)

    I glad to the hear that the majority of the funds went to Susan G. Komen.  However, where is the remainder of the money that was spent donating to her fake medical bills, phone bills, living expenses etc.  She had at least one Go Fund Me account and I know about all the fundraisers at The Bridge, West 5 etc. Where is that money?!  I like to consider myself a decent human being and want to have compassion for this woman……..but its proving to be hard. Instead I’ll go forward and give my attention to all her close friends and the folks who were doing so much good for the real cause, which is the cancer support.  Miss Dart wins by everyone paying attention to her.  Isn’t that the whole reason for this mess?  

  • Alki beacher February 2, 2016 (7:44 am)

    Since when is being a liar a mental illness? She didn’t lie to raise money for SGK, she was walking for them “before the cancer”. It’s not like you can only do the 3 day if you have cancer or are a survivor. She did it for the attention? I’m sure that was a part of it, but she went out of her way to throw benefits for herself, not as fundraisers for SGK. I’ve been to more than a few of them. There have been multiple PERSONAL gofundme pages, as well as the gofundme for team tracy. What about the benefit fundraiser where you could go to her blog/website and click the paypal button to donate to her fundraiser if you couldn’t be there? That was one of her personal fundraisers. I’m also among the folks who had been asked personally for cash/checks made out to tracy so she could make “one large” donation. I’ve never donated to SKG or team tracy but I’ve made donations at her personal fundraisers before. I’ve had family who have been sick and in need at times and the struggle is hard and real, so I donated. I’m terribly unclear as to why “The Puget Sound Susan G. Komen Foundation says it is confident that all the money raised for its breast-cancer-fighting efforts in the name of West Seattleite Tracy Dart and her local associates went to the foundation.”. What would lead them to believe that? Is it common for people to request donations for a team be made out to an individual personally? At the end of the day a lot of us got taken, and Tracy got the money and attention she wanted. Must be nice to not have to work if you don’t want to, but I guess that probably doesn’t convince local businesses to donate items to be raffled off and it doesn’t really sound like a gofundme campaign that would make much money. All I want to know is how she ever looked any of us in the eyes while asking for money for personal expenses while lying to our faces. 

  • T Rex February 2, 2016 (7:46 am)

    Mental issues or not she is still a liar and a thief. No compassion here. What a horrible thing to do.  She certainly has everyone’s attention now doesn’t she?   

  • Alki beacher February 2, 2016 (7:53 am)

    Also, can anyone verify that the thousands of dollars that were collected for the Oso victims actually made it to the red cross (that’s who Tracy had indicated she was going to be donating the money to)?

  • m February 2, 2016 (8:07 am)

    SGK should return the money she raised…period.

  • Rick February 2, 2016 (8:46 am)

    “There’s a sucker born every minute”.  Attributed to P.T.Barnum.  Been there,done that and even have the T shirt.

  • KBear February 2, 2016 (9:19 am)

    M, why should Komen return the money they received? That makes no sense. They were not part of the fraud, and that money didn’t go to Tracy Dart.

    • m February 3, 2016 (5:11 am)

      Because you have no idea what type of coercion was used by this fraudulent person to extract those donations. The money she raised is tainted… it should be returned.

  • heather February 2, 2016 (9:31 am)

    I too have donated to funds to help with a persons living expenses while completely disabled from disease and disease treatment. Personally, I feel it’s a fault of our healthcare system. As long as I know where my money is going, if I can, I’m happy to donate.

    • Jennsta February 2, 2016 (2:35 pm)

      That is great, except she’s not disabled.

  • LOLA February 2, 2016 (9:48 am)

    Nice touch with the band-aide going across her chest in the photo.  I will show you what a real port scar looks like.  

  • Shausen February 2, 2016 (10:50 am)

    I have known Tracy for over a decade.  First as a customer, then a friend, then as a fellow cancer survivor.  I have defended her for years against allegations of her fabricating the disease as she did little to change her lifestyle, namely drinking in bars several days a week.  My thought was always, ‘who would make that up?’   We now know that answer.  Tracy does.  And my defense stops here.  In the days since this story broke I have been feeling what so many in our community are; anger, sadness, betrayal, disbelief.  I have also looked for the silver lining.  While it’s true that Tracy facilitated in assembling a fantastic and dedicated group that raised a lot of money and awareness for breast cancer, she did not do it alone.  Tracy preyed on the tight knit “family” of West Seattle business owners, patrons, and citizens to further her own selfish agenda.  She could have accomplished her Komen related fundraising goals without the elaborate con.  There are two issues I have not seen addressed. 1)  Fundraisers aside Tracy has been bilking her friends out of hard earned money and their time for years.  I dare not do the math as far as how much friends and business owners took out of pocket to cover her bar and dinner tabs over the years.  Then to add in the time spent on her personal fundraisers and donations of personal items.  Many of Tracy’s volunteers have been battling cancer or survivors as well and not in a financial position to donate, but did anyway thinking they were helping a “family member.”   Why does she deserve their money more than they do?  2)  Tracy is a sick woman. That is a fact.  She has cirrhosis and we all know how she got it.  I can only imagine the shock and horror her family must have felt at her recent hospitalization only to discover she never had cancer.   What did her family do to deserve this?   We may never know why she did this, but in my opinion it was for attention, a free ride, and a free bar tab.  I only hope we don’t see her next cashing in on the talk show circuit. 

    • CRM February 2, 2016 (11:35 am)

      So very well said.  I worked with her and she was never there 5 days a week (this was 1999-2000)  It’s pretty obvious that she has a drinking problem which leads to not being able to be at work, which leads to needing money.  She was always trying to start a business, e.g. Mary Kay and probably 20 other things that she tried to get people to “invest in”.  Always wanted the easy way out.  I don’t believe she has mental illness.  I believe she is a selfish, narcissistic person who doesn’t give a crap how she gets her next drink.  Shame on you, Tracy.  

  • s February 2, 2016 (11:13 am)

    “When Dart requested money for a living expense – rent, phone bill, car
    repairs, drugstore, vitamin store – a check was written to the payee,
    not to Dart, said the community member, who wanted to assure those who
    contributed that “the money went to what we said it would go to.” The
    $7,300 was spent over the course of four months following the benefit.”*Assure that the money went to what we said it would go to? Huh? The money went to pay for the living expenses of someone who was lying about cancer. Not a helpful “assurance.”

    • Alan February 2, 2016 (11:32 am)

      She may just be the cancer version of Rachel Dolezal or she may be the pure con. I think the detailing of how the money was paid out of the fund indicates no wrongdoing on the part of the Trust. There is still wrongdoing on the part of Tracy. She should never have allowed for that fund to be set up, nor taken cars or anything else that people offered based on a falsehood. I see no reason to attack the Trust or the Susan G Komen foundation for what they could not have known. The people hurt were those that gave directly to Tracy in spite of what little they had and those that will now fail to receive because this makes people skeptical.

  • Lauren February 2, 2016 (11:21 am)

    I don’t know what the mental illness is at play here (probably a mix of narcissism, borderline and psychopathy), and I really don’t care. This deceptive behavior from Tracy Dart, from Tania Head the 9/11 faker, from Jackie the Rolling Stone fake rape victim – it has to stop. These are not victimless crimes.  These fakers manufacture over-the-top tales of woe to one-up the real, struggling victims around them, and make a point of publicly handling their “crisis” with positivity, grace and leadership activism, rising as pillars in the communities they infiltrate. I am certain that over the past six years in West Seattle there were real breast cancer victims in need of emotional support and financial assistance who did not get it because for years the attention has all been about Tracy, Tracy, Tracy. I also have no doubt that she has many friends in this community who dropped real problems in their own lives to assist her in her manufactured health crisis. This sickens me. And perhaps worst of all, people like her lead to more widespread skepticism about people who are really, truly victims or in need. I have no sympathy for her – none.

  • Gina February 2, 2016 (12:24 pm)

    The WS4Oso Facebook page was also used to fundraise for victims of the fire that destroyed 3 houses in the Gatewood area. Did money get to them?

  • Mary S February 2, 2016 (1:13 pm)

    Hey, all, I have no doubt that the allegations are true. That being said, I’m pretty uncomfortable with people making armchair diagnoses on her mental health, addictions or other issues. People are shocked, betrayed, angry, heartbroken — I totally get that. I too donated money and a bit of time to her causes (though my involvement can’t even touch what many, many others did). But personally I feel it diminishes us to share conjecture.

  • Sicktomystomach February 2, 2016 (1:55 pm)

    It’s interesting that a trust fund was set up to manage her donated funds.  Were there people involved in the fundraising efforts who suspected fraud and wanted some assurance or protection for those funds?   Who set up that trust on her behalf? People should be digging through their records to find out if their SGK donation checks were written to her or to SGK.   And she personally didn’t raise over $400,000 for SGK,  her team did that.  Don’t give credit where it is certainly not deserved. I spoke with one of her supporters,  a Tracy friend for over 20 years.   I am so disgusted with this behavior,  having once been a victim myself by a family member.   I asked the friend,  “What do you do next?”   They answered very quickly,  “Support her.   What else do you do?  She’s my friend. ”    I have no sympathy for her at all. 

  • Nomoor February 2, 2016 (3:16 pm)

    I was really looking forward to her miraculously beating the cancer after it had spread to her bones (as mentioned on her Facebook page). Over the years, she just kept upping the ante and had no disregard for anyone’s feelings, including her immediate family and her childhood friends, not to mention the entire community she grew up in.I truly hope that the people who still support her are able to get past the grieving point and realize that this woman is only interested in herself.  You loved and cared for a sick “friend” that never truly existed. Quit holding on to those emotions and trying to see the good in this woman.  Even in her final Facebook post, before it went dark, she tried to get your sympathy by telling you she has cirrhosis of the liver and is going to rehab. This was THREE WEEKS after her family found out that her cancer claims were false and she knew it was going to be made public. Even in her final public moment she had no disregard for anyone’s emotions or feelings other than her own.  She is a selfish person who only wants your money and attention. No more, Tracy! No more!!!

  • smokeycretin9 February 2, 2016 (3:50 pm)

    Well, she got the fame she was looking for.  

  • heather February 2, 2016 (4:43 pm)

    @Jennsta Let me clarify due to your response. Not everyone who requests money, gofundme or what not, for personal expenses is distrustful. Just trying to defend that as reasonable donation request as this type of situation sometimes deters people from giving. 

  • Jen February 2, 2016 (5:14 pm)

    This goes out to Tracy’s many amazing, selfless, altruistic friends… I worked in psych for more than 10 years, including 5 on the psych wards at Harborview. It saddens me to read so many people defending Tracy’s actions because of her “mental illness”. You don’t need any excuses for her. Your feelings are very powerful and very valid. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You were conned… plain and simple. Frankly it’s an insult to folks who genuinely suffer through no fault of their own. She made her own choices. My concern is that all of you are getting the help you need. This is obviously a global story now, and while it’s easy for anyone to be an armchair quarterback on “I would have seen it coming”, you are all the victims who must work through this. Betrayal is horrible. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, and none of you deserved it. I really hope her friends and family can work together and support each other to get through it. Like any loss, you must work through all the stages of grief. Its pretty easy to get stuck on the anger part! There are many excellent resources out there to help…

  • KBear February 2, 2016 (5:29 pm)

    Jen, I don’t think anyone was “defending Tracy’s actions” by suggesting that she might have a mental illness. If you actually worked with the mentally ill, I’m sure you would know that people can do very bad things, but they’re still human beings. Those same people may also do very good things. Life is complicated. Having empathy for a criminal who may have a mental illness does not mean you’re trying to “excuse” the crimes, nor does it mean you don’t also have the utmost concern for her victims. 

  • Jen February 2, 2016 (5:49 pm)

    Very true, KB. I wasn’t speaking so much to comments here as the numerous (thousands now) comments elsewhere. Just work through your own feelings before you can even begin to empathize with the person who betrayed you. I suspect that many of the kind-hearted people will naturally try to latch on to the empathy stage without acknowledging their own feelings. It seems only natural when we obviously want to do good in the world and not focus on the negative, but missing the crucial steps towards healing means those feelings get bottled up, and they will definitely manifest in other ways or towards other people who have nothing to do with this situation. I donate to many people who are in need both online and IRL. I’m not going to lie and say all of this won’t have a future effect on that. I am suspicious now, though I don’t want to be. None of us do. It would sure make it easier if the person who caused that loss of trust took responsibility, but it is all too common that they never will. We have to accept that this might be the case. Sometimes those who hurt us most will never apologize, so we must be prepared to earn that trust in humanity on our own. That means working through the stages. 

  • Jen February 2, 2016 (8:09 pm)

    … And l I must say it is infuriating to keep checking back to see if she’s made a statement, but all she has done so far is get a lawyer. She owes it to this community to fess up, but all she’s done so far is do what she has to do to protect herself, which is all she has ever done.Own up already. Accept the consequences of your actions! Let this incredible community which we all love move on from this. It is quite cruel and selfish to do otherwise.

  • Laura February 2, 2016 (8:38 pm)

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2014. Tracy Dart’s name came up so many times as someone I should meet, who would be a bright light in West Seattle doing good for folks like me. For whatever reason, my intuition kept me away and now I know why. I have had a quite hard road through treatment, and over a year later I still haven’t been able to work because of the cognitive, neurological, auto-immune, fatigue and other consequences to chemo on my body. I was a professional consultant saving for retirement, so my 401k IRA makes me ineligible for state and SSI benefits. I am living off of early (penalized) withdrawals from my retirement savings, food stamps, the West Seattle Food Bank, and the moral support of great friends in this community. I have never done fundraising. My point is that there are women in this community in West Seattle who legitimately NEED the community’s support but who are quietly slogging through. THESE are the women that deserve fundraising – the ones who won’t ask because they are too busy trying to get through each day of their lives. Some of these women probably did meet Tracy, probably participated on her team, looked to her as someone who has gotten through this – as a model for how they can turn their experience into something good. Then to find out that Tracy was a fraud? It’s an absolute outrage.  Tracy walked in the Northwest Hope & Healing fashion show and stood on stage with people at varying stages of dealing with this disease. I walked that runway myself last year and it disgusts me that someone would stand among us pretending. I don’t even have the words to describe the feeling. This runs far deeper than just a finance issue for myself and many others. If there is a lawyer reading this who will explore with me how to sue her, I will stand up to make it happen. I would use the money to create a foundation for West Seattle women effected by breast cancer. Lets turn this situation around and funnel the anger into something to help the women here who deserve the help of this generous community. 

  • Jen February 2, 2016 (9:51 pm)

    I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through, Laura. The truth is that so many of us go through the wringer with very little support. If people knew our stories, they’d likely help us, but people like Tracy make us embarrassed to do so. We don’t want to be lumped in with scam artists or beggers, and so we keep silent. That is a tremendous by-product of their crimes which they should work very hard to make amends for, but I suppose it’s more personally beneficial to get a lawyer to escape prosecution….

  • JanS February 3, 2016 (12:59 am)

    when I went through breast cancer 11 years ago, I continued to work part time during the whole thing because, well, I still had bills, rent, had to eat when I could. I had no partner to help me, and no fundraisers. When I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease in 2010 that killed both of my kidneys and had to go on dialysis 3X aweek, the good people of the WS Blog forum decided to do a fundraiser for me. I didn’t ask for it myself. But I didn’t turn it down because I’ve had to swallow a lot of pride as I needed more and more help financially. I am self employed as a massage therapist. I’m also 68. And these two illnesses have devastated me financially, as I’ve had to take 6 months off here, 2 months off there.  I received a kidney transplant in 2013. Recovery takes a while, and I’ve volunteered for complications almost every step of the way. So…Laura and Jen, I quite understand your predicaments dealing with all of this. I remain cancer free. I hope that your future with this beast of a disease is bright, and that you’re both dancing with NED…if not now, in the near future.

  • Tara February 3, 2016 (8:53 am)

    The reason the police are not involved is due to misplaced loyalties. Friends still “feel bad” for Tracy, and authentically sad for her family. They do not want to see Tracy dying, and being prosecuted. What the fundraiser coordinators and Team Tracy leaders are forgetting is that the community, people, and friends who donated to Tracy’s personal funds and medical bills were ALL taken advantage of. It doesn’t not matter that Tracy had it put into a trust that they used to pay her living expenses etc, what matters is that the trust was developed under false pretenses. It was a scam.  Hopefully the leaders of Team Tracy and several people in the community who donated will find within themselves the courage and integrity to turn over the fundraisers, lies, and information the police. Until someone files a case, there is no investigation.  Her family is staying quiet to protect Tracy. How respectable is that really though? A spokesperson for her family should have at least apologized on her behalf by now. I understand why they have not, but its wrong.  

  • Alki beacher February 3, 2016 (9:46 am)

    I’ve gone through a lot of emotions thinking about all of this and trying to absorb it, much like everyone else. This has destroyed a lot for the people who care/cared about her as well as the community. What about the next fundraiser for someone who needs help battling a disease? What proof will people need in order to feel comfortable donating their time, money and emotions? It’s going to take a long time for a lot of us to come to terms with everything and move past it. I’m guessing that I won’t be seeing her around west seattle anytime soon, and that I’m glad about.

  • HelperMonkey February 3, 2016 (10:12 am)

    I wish people would stop with this “Munchhausen” nonsense. She doesn’t have Munchhausen – she is merely a sociopath and a liar. That is not a mental illness. Your misplaced empathy? She is loving that right now. More sympathy for Tracy. She thrives on it. “Poor, poor Tracy, aw, she didn’t know what she was doing she just has a mental illness.”  Every cent she put in her own pocket while faking cancer – she knew exactly what she was doing. Wonder if that’s why she drank herself into cirrhosis? Probably pretty hard to look yourself in the eye when you’re lying to everyone.  There’s a “C” word here I use to describe her, and it sure ain’t “Cancer”. Call it what it is and prosecute her to the fullest extent that the law allows. And let every legitimate cancer survivor give her one good kick in the teeth for good measure. 

    • Zerodacus February 3, 2016 (1:44 pm)

      Nailed it, I couldn’t have written a better response.

    • JessD February 3, 2016 (5:23 pm)

      I don’t know, last I checked sociopathy was also a mental illness. But that’s not really the point, we don’t KNOW what happened, we don’t know what’s wrong with her. Drinking yourself to cirrhosis takes A LOT of regular drinking. More than say, you or I do.  It’s ok to be angry, but assuming you know what her mental state is and flinging nasty insults and that she deserves violence isn’t going to solve anything. How about have some compassion and rise above rather than trying to sink to.

  • Jimbo-ed February 3, 2016 (12:47 pm)

    It is disgusting that Team Tracy and Tracy’s family are protecting her and all silent. Collecting funds for her own personal needs and bills under false pretenses is FRAUD. Hope that everyone who has personally donated to this gal heads down to the police department. They cannot investigate fraud that is not reported to them. Come on people. Call the precinct.  Team Tracy will not, and though they were tricked too, they are not reporting her on your behalf.  Everyone needs to find any proof they have and send it in one at at time. Do not let this hoaxer get away with this! She is not sick at all. She is selfish. 

  • T Rex February 3, 2016 (1:33 pm)

    Her family covering for her may well be part of the problem and not even realize it. It’s called enabling.  Most people with alcoholic family or friends think they are helping these types of people by giving them money as well as helping them in other ways. If you go to counseling you will be told to STOP and cut them out of your life. That is where the term “tough love” comes into play. Hard thing for people to do though, especially family members.  I do not know this woman so I only state this based on comments made on this blog. If you put the drinking aside though, you still have someone who was able to manipulate many, many people. My guess is she was probably starting to lose friends and family members, thus the “I have cancer, please help me.” Many red flags in this story considering how long it took for the truth to come out.    For all you survivors out there, God Bless  and this community will NOT be spoiled by this one selfish act by one low life of a person.  What goes around comes around, all in good time.  

  • concerned parent February 4, 2016 (2:37 am)

    Iam a long time west seattleite 25 plus years. For a good few of those years I have worked in various restaurants and bars in and around west seattle,and most folks working in the industry  in our neighborhood undoubtedly know, have had contact or at least have chatted with Tracy at some point over the last decade  because she was a regular an institution if you wi,in the local bar scene.I personally never attended a benefit on her behalf. I reluctantly donated 20 dollars to her cause. I say reluctantly  because i witnessed her behavior first hand, almost instantly after i met her some years back, i felt she was lying about having cancer.  I never dared to share my suspicions  with co workers or anyone else in the industry for  faer of being tarred and feathered. I did however share my thoughts oveer the year with a couple of close friends. What i cannot reconcile is how for nine plus years, her close friends who where out partying with her, or because they were bartending at the time serving her drink after drink for 8 plus hours 3,4,5,even six times a week for years not become  suspicious? Or at the very least have a conversation with her about maybe  not going out of her way to further damage her already supposed fragile health,  that they were all tirelessly trying to preserve? I’m not a doctor and i don’t plavy one on tv…. I have never been gravely ill nor have I  had cancer.  I have  had family  and friends who have and i saw some of them die, and no one of them while enduring chemo while suffering from their illness were out living it upnlet alone getting black out drunk. And her family?  Come on.. Anyone with a speck of common sense and slightly in touch with reality would see right through her act. If these so called friends truly care for her, instead of remaining complicit encourage her to admit to her actions. And perhaps pondering their own involvment in this situation, even if seemed inocious at the time. Only the can the healing begin.

  • Hmmm... February 4, 2016 (8:56 am)

    Interesting that in all the articles I’ve read about this story that NONE of her friends are speaking up on her behalf. I get family alliances and perhaps she’s even asked them to remain silent. But not one friend or acquaintance is willing to step up and defend her?

    • HelperMonkey February 4, 2016 (9:15 am)

      imagine your close friend lied to your face for 8+ years. Would you defend them? I wouldn’t. 

  • Shausen February 4, 2016 (8:33 pm)

    I was having a conversation with a friend today who mentioned that at one point she had donated $100 to one of Tracy’s personal benefits.  Like many of us my friend works paycheck to paycheck.   That $100 represents an entire day of wages and transportation to her and could have gone to her own expenses.  She doesn’t know Tracy well and the donation was a stretch, but at the time she thought she was helping a community member in need.  This got me thinking about how many similar stories there are out there.  How many people went without just so Tracy didn’t have to?  Did she give a thought to the hard working people behind those donations when she cashed their checks?  I’m not surprised Tracy hasn’t commented.  I’m sure the family acquired attorney has instructed them all to remain silent in the event of future lawsuits.  In addition, as long as she remains silent she still gets positive affirmations from strangers defending her new found mental illness.  I’m also not surprised her friends aren’t jumping up to defend her either.  No one wants to admit they were duped for a decade by a loved one.   There is no shame in admitting to being a victim of Tracy’s scam.  She managed to get away with it much longer than even some of the best Wall Street criminal masterminds.  Addicts are prime manipulators…ask any ER professional who’s dealt with drug seekers or rehab counselor who’s heard every excuse in the book.  Tracy is no different than a paper bag wino asking for money on a street corner (although at least they are honest) she just hasn’t ended up that way yet because she managed to create a niche pilfering the pocketbooks of her neighbors.  

  • StandUpForWestSeattle February 5, 2016 (3:49 pm)

    I once considered her one of my very best friends. At one point, I actually contemplated having her in my groom’s party in my wedding. Today, I called the Seattle Police to file a complaint against her on the grounds of fraud. I truly hope the people that considered her a “friend” at one point or another does the same. Especially those of you that met her in 2008 or later. The person you met was scamming you the entire time. I understand how hurt you must feel if you grew up as her childhood friend or if you created a bond with her before 2008. It must feel terrible to be taken advantage by someone who you considered a great friend and awesome drinking buddy. She was fun to be around. Her laugh was contagious. She was genuinely beautiful and could sing her heart out at karaoke nights. But those memories were created under the fraudulent claims that she was someone who she was obviously not. It is tough to process those emotions and nearly impossible to try and understand why she did this. I agree, it’s shocking that something like this can happen. But, it’ll be even more shocking if no one does anything about it.

    To Tracy’s “friends” (this includes business owners),

    She was never sick. All of the compassion and love you gave her since she was “diagnosed” with breast cancer was unwarranted. Those emotions felt real, but they were never deserved. Please do yourself and this community a favor and see this woman for what she really is. She lied to you. She stole from you. We were all duped. I feel stupid, too. How could this happen to us? We cannot sit back and let this go unpunished. You didn’t freely donate money to an alcoholic. You didn’t donate money to someone in dire need of a liver transplant. You donated money to a “breast cancer survivor” so she could pay her medical bills related to her cancer diagnosis that turned out to be a farce. She doesn’t deserve your sympathy. Take your time and recall all of the countless hours and monies you donated and call the Seattle PD at the number listed in this article or by simply filling out an online form located in the provided hyperlink.

    Please, do the right thing.

    • StandUpForWestSeattle February 5, 2016 (3:53 pm)

      Here’s the link:

      • WSB February 5, 2016 (4:02 pm)

        Hi – what’s the complaint #?

        (added) I called SPD to see if they could pull it up; we had been routinely checking with them anyway to see if anyone had filed anything. Media relations says the fraud unit closes early for the day so they will have no access before Monday. if you’d like to elaborate. – TR

    • T February 5, 2016 (6:09 pm)

      I don’t necessarily think it’s wrong to have compassion or love for someone you care about that you think has an illness.  She does in fact have an illness, just not the ones we thought she did.  And it’s hard to turn off the love you have for someone you’ve known for a very long time, even when they’ve done something wrong.  Everyone has bad sides to them, and the fun-loving, beautiful, laugh-out-loud Tracy did and does exist.  It’s just being overshadowed by the dark side that’s come out unfortunately.  I may not be quick to trust her again, but I couldn’t live with myself if I was unable to forgive her and wish her the best, having known her as long as I have.  

    • StillStunned February 6, 2016 (6:37 am)

      Thank you for your courage.

  • westdaydreamer February 5, 2016 (10:25 pm)

     ” If these so called friends truly care for her, instead of remaining complicit encourage her to admit to her actions. And perhaps pondering their own involvement in this situation, even if seemed innocuous at the time. Only then can the healing begin. “A lot of us drank with Tracy, laughed with her and truly enjoyed her company. When asked to donate many did.  Many of us because “Team Tracy” encouraged us to. Why are they so quiet now? She is your friend,  what are we?

Sorry, comment time is over.