‘John Craig’ cancer letter is a hoax

Publisher of the Guinness World Records book has warned
that a chain letter asking organisations to send compliment slips
to a young boy with terminal cancer is a hoax.

Councils, schools and voluntary organisations are among the
thousands that have received the letter, and spent time making
copies to forward on to others as requested.

version of the letter has been sent many times to Community
, stating that seven-year-old “John Craig” is suffering
from terminal cancer and has an ambition to enter the Guinness
World Records
book for having the largest collection of
compliment slips.

letter asks for a slip to be sent to the boy, and the attached
papers, which list previous participants, to be forwarded to 10

Guinness World Records said that the chain letter
developed from a genuine record attempt by a young cancer sufferer
called Craig Shergold, who gained an entry in the 1991 edition of
the book for receiving the most get well cards. Shergold recovered
from the cancer, but his family still receives more than 1,000
unwanted items of post each day.

director Chris Sheedy said that Guinness World Records
“desperately” wants to put a stop to the chain letter, which
appears in different forms.

advice is to not send on any chain mail that mentions Guinness
World Records, because it’s not a record that we will accept.
Please contact anyone you know who has received or is going to
receive this mail and give them the same advice.”

health charity Mind, publisher of Openmind magazine, which
forwarded the letter, said that it did so with good intentions.

passed on this letter in the good faith that it was a genuine
request to help a little boy with terminal cancer, having received
the letter through various other reputable organisations. We are
very sorry if our participation has caused any hurt, and will be
contacting all other organisations with the information now
provided,” said spokesperson Anny Brackx.

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