woman speaking in car with caption 'to prove that she was lying about having terminal bone cancer' (l) John Green the Fault In Our Stars book in front of greenery (c) woman speaking in car with caption 'I'm realizing that almost identical to the story plot of my wife's life' (r)

hamdi bendali/Shutterstock @yayakampen/TikTok (Licensed)

‘My jaw is on the floor’: Woman reveals ex-wife used the plot of ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ to lie about terminal cancer

The TikTok had quite the twist.


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Jan 11, 2023

A woman says that her ex-wife lied about having terminal cancer by using the plot of John Green’s novel “The Fault in Our Stars,” in which one of the main characters dies of bone cancer.

In a TikTok posted on Jan. 10, Janine Kampen (@yayakampen) says that her ex-wife told her she was dying of “terminal bone cancer.” In 2014, when Kampen saw the film adaptation of Green’s book, she realized that her ex-wife had lied to her—and crafted the lie using elements of the plot of “The Fault in Our Stars.”

“As I’m watching the movie I’m realizing that almost identical to the story is my wife’s life,” Kampen says in her TikTok. “Even the phrases [in the book] she would use on the daily.”

Kampen addressed her video to author John Green, whose video she stitched when making her TikTok about her ex-wife. Green’s TikTok celebrated the anniversary of the book, which had been released 11 years ago in 2012.

“It was your story that inspired her to fake terminal bone cancer,” Kampen says to Green. “But it was also your movie from that story that gave me the first alarm bells to prove that she was lying to me about having terminal bone cancer.”

The TikToker confirmed that her ex is also still alive. On Wednesday, Kampen’s video had almost 2 million views.

@yayakampen #stitch with @literallyjohngreen lol great story tho. really had me believing 💀 #faultinourstars #munchausensyndrome #factitiousdisorder ♬ original sound – Yaya

In the comments of her video, Yaya clarified that she is no longer married to the woman in question and that her ex used the line “I lit up like a Christmas tree,” which a character says when referring to a medical scan used to see if their cancer had returned.

Kampen did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment via email.

Commenters were baffled by Kampen’s story and many said they didn’t see it coming when they first began watching her video.

“It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been THAT bamboozled by a TikTok,” @luckytheducky commented. “I was simply unprepared for the journey you brought us on.”

“My jaw is on the floor,” @sa3h33 wrote.

“I thought you were gonna say that it made you a cancer nurse or something,” @broganed commented. “WHAT THE HELL.”

Kampen used hashtags “Munchausen syndrome” and “factitious disorder” in her video’s caption. Both are psychological conditions that cause a person to lie about having a specific disease, sometimes even going so far as to generate symptoms of the disease.

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*First Published: Jan 11, 2023, 3:29 pm CST