Mom Gambled Away Donations to Fight Son's Cancer

Pleads guilty to felony fraud

By Greg Wilson
|  Thursday, Sep 15, 2011  |  Updated 2:09 PM EDT
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A New York mom blew money intended for her son's cancer battle - at gambling tables.

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A New York woman admitted she gambled away thousands of dollars generous donors gave to aid her son's battle against cancer.

Sherry Holcomb, of the Buffalo suburb of Cortland, pleaded guilty to a felony count of scheme to defraud, according to the Buffalo News. She admitted blowing $15,000 raised to help her 21-year-old son Ryan O'Donnell battle leukemia at casinos in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Canada.

"I'm not sure how much of Ryan's money I've gambled away, but it is virtually all gone," Holcomb said in a written confession. "I know it was wrong to spend his money and I'm sorry for doing it. I'm ashamed of myself."

Holcomb deposited money raised for her son in a bank acount she opened. She also deposited checks sent with get-well cards for O'Donnell, The Buffalo News reported, and then used ATM cards to withdraw funds for gambling.

Holcomb said she is a gambling addict. She faces four years in prison at her sentencing in November. She will remain the primary caregiver for her son.

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