'I didn't use my child's money' - Viral sensation's mom denies using donated funds

June 27, 2016
Tatiana at her home in Time and Patience, Linstead.
Tatiana at her home in Time and Patience, Linstead.

- Viral sensation's mom denies using donated funds

Simone Shecleworth, the mother of viral sensation Tatiana McKenzie, is seeking to dispel what she calls some "nasty rumours" that she has been stealing her daughter's dental funds and using it to buy hair extensions, among other things.

Shecleworth told THE STAR that unscrupulous persons have been collecting donations on her and Tatiana's behalf and using it for personal gains. This has resulted in donors believing she (Shecleworth) was squandering the money, but she said there is no truth to that claim.

Tatiana, who was dubbed a social media sensation late last year after videos of her comedic conversations went viral, had sought the public's assistance for her dental treatment, which amounted to over $600,000. She was struggling with a myriad of malocclusion unknowingly caused by a medication she was using.

Shecleworth explained that Tatiana would need to undergo six extractions and 11 root canals, and then replace the extractions with dentures. However, her humble family could not afford the treatment.

Since then, many persons who were touched by Tatiana's exuberant personality have stepped in to offer financial and other assistance. However, some of these donations apparently went into the hands of unscrupulous persons who claimed they were collecting on the family's behalf.

exploiting her

When neither Tatiana, nor her family expressed gratitude to these donors, speculations and rumours started swirling that Tatiana's mother was exploiting her money, instead of treating her malocclusion. "People started calling and saying we are ungrateful, and that we not doing any dental work, and that me take the money and buy hair," Shecleworth explained.

However, she wants to assure everyone that her daughter's dental treatment has been going smoothly. To date, she has done all her extractions and fillings. Her next dental visit is on Tuesday, where she will move on to the root canal treatment.

Tatiana said she is extremely emotional about the accusations against her mother, but she is thankful that her treatment is progressing. "Mi deh yah a give God thanks. God is good. God is extremely good to me. I feel so happy. I'm getting a beautiful smile where nobody can tease me about having rotten teeth," Tatiana said.

She said school is going well, and she is all set to move on to fifth form in September at the Ewarton High School in St Catherine.

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