Lots of folks are biting on yet another baseless "Help this ailing child" scam (previous examples here and here) aimed at garnering Facebook likes and undeserved attention for the hoax-monger who posted it.
At last count, the image above had been shared over 30,000 times and liked by more than 193,000 people (in under 24 hours!).
The text reads:
The parents can't afford it so CNN and Facebook are agreeing to pay half the expense for the family and the kid - so please dont ignore and help and spread the word
1 Like = 20$
1 comment = 50$
1 share = 100$
Contrary to what's claimed, however, neither CNN nor Facebook have pledged to defray half the child's medical expenses. Nor will liking, sharing, or commenting on the post result in real donations.
Please don't aid and abet this cynical hoax!
For the record, the photo itself is real and shows 13-month-old Milagros Cerron of Peru and her doctor, Luis Rubio, just before surgery was performed to separate her legs in May 2005. She was born with a condition known as sirenomelia, or "mermaid syndrome." The surgery was successful, but it was only the first of several required. Milagros, now 9, continues to receive around-the-clock medical care, and at last report needed a kidney transplant.