Donations to LLS Spiked After Te'o's "Girlfriend" Died

By Corinne Rose

January 18, 2013 Updated Jan 18, 2013 at 7:38 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- When Notre Dame All-American running back Manti Te'o's supposed girlfriend supposedly died from leukemia, many of the football player's fans donated money in her honor to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

When many football fans heard the then-devastating news that a Heisman trophy candidate lost his grandmother and his girlfriend on the same day, they sprang into action.

One man in New York raised four thousand dollars for the charity in a week, and and more money poured in for the organization.

The head of the Allen County chapter says while people may be angry that they gave their hard-earned dollars based on something that turned out to be a lie, she reassures that the money will go to help patients who need that support the most.

"It breaks your heart every time, because there are people that are truly going through this that do have the need. And when something like this... I think it hurts those people or hurts our organization because people are hesitant," says Jennifer Alia, the head of the Allen County chapter.

No one has asked for a refund, and Alia wants people to know that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has a stringent screening process for diagnosed patients to receive aid for medical co-pays.

The rest of the funding goes to patients' counseling, support groups and research.

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