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Woman alleged to have faked cancer, heart condition, charged with fraud

Staff of the FunFlex Playcare Childcare Centre are shown in this undated handout photo. The owner of a Calgary daycare says he feels betrayed after one of his employees was charged with lying about having heart problems and cancer so she could take in thousands of dollars in donations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Marc St. Germain

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Staff of the FunFlex Playcare Childcare Centre are shown in this undated handout photo. The owner of a Calgary daycare says he feels betrayed after one of his employees was charged with lying about having heart problems and cancer so she could take in thousands of dollars in donations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Marc St. Germain

CALGARY - The owner of a Calgary daycare says he feels betrayed after one of his employees was charged with lying about having heart problems and cancer so she could take in thousands of dollars in donations.

Police allege that between December 2012 and June 2013 the woman told her co-workers she had a fatal heart condition and Stage 4 breast cancer. Investigators say the woman went as far as providing a fraudulent doctor's note to her employer.

Police say her co-workers held fundraisers for her, which brought in $20,000.

Some staff members even shaved their heads to support the cause, said Marc St. Germain, the owner of FunFlex Playcare Childcare Centre.

"I'm really disappointed. We trusted her and the staff and I put forward a lot of programs to help her out. We had staff cooking meals, we had parents giving her gift cards and offering a lot of support," St. Germain said.

The woman had worked at his daycare for the past three-and-a-half years said St. Germain. He said he had no complaints about her work.

"I'll be honest with you — in three-and-a-half years, she was probably one of my best employees. Parents loved her and it's unfortunate."

Last summer, one of the parents went to police about the woman's claims. After that, St. Germain said the woman's claims started to fall apart.

"Suddenly the stories don't make sense. Then all of a sudden you become a detective yourself and you find this doesn't make sense," he said.

"She told us she was going for chemo on Sundays so we went to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and realized there was never chemo on Sunday."

Lana Rovang, who is 32, is charged with fraud and uttering a forged document.

St. Germain said his staff are like a family. He said at this point he doubts that an apology would help.

"You've got a lot of people who do have cancer and do really need help and people who are giving money, and because of these kind of scams sometimes people hesitate in giving more to people who really need the support."

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