A young woman who was drugged by her own mother to make her believe she was dying of leukemia has bravely spoken about her ordeal.
In a magazine exclusive with that's life!, Hannah Milbrandt, now 21, spoke of how her mother, Teresa, shaved her head and plied her with medication at just seven years old, telling everyone she'd been diagnosed with cancer.
Hannah said her mother had taken her for a scan when she developed a minor fever and cough. Teresa then told her husband, Robert, that Hanah was terminal.
'My life changed completely after that day,' Hannah told that's life!
'Suddenly I had to wear a surgical mask over my mouth all the time. She even took me to church like that, where she told everyone about my cancer. They started fundraising to help towards my medical bills.'
As her mum was a home-care nurse, she administered all of Hannah's medication. She'd also drug Hannah with sleeping tablets before all her 'hospital appointments' to knock her out.
'When I woke up, Mum told me the doctor had given me my shot of chemo while I was asleep,' Hannah said.
After a few months, Hannah woke up to discover her mother had shaved her head.
Robert, who was away for work alot, was distraught when Teresa told him their little girl had just weeks left to live.
Hannah was even sent to a counsellor to help her come to terms with her impending death.
10 months after Hannah's ordeal began, her parents were arrested. It was revealed that a teacher at Hannah's school became suspicious that her hair was growing back evenly, when chemo patients usually lose it in patches.
When confronted by the local family services department, Teresa admitting to faking the cancer to scam the community out of $31,000.
Teresa Milbrandt, then 35, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for theft and child endangerment.
She later revealed that she concocted the scheme because she thought her husband was going to leave her.
'I knew how much he cared about Hannah and if she's sick, I thought, he's not going to leave us,' she told the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.
Robert, 44, who maintained his innocence, plead guilty to child endangerment and was jailed for four years and 11 months.
Growing up in foster care, Hannah battled crippling depression.
'How do you move on when your own mum tells you you're about to die,' she told that's life!
Now, Hannah is studying to become a social worker and is close with her father.
'To people out there who have been abused, I want them to know there is light at the end of the tunnel,' Hannah said.
To read more of Hannah's story, pick up a copy of that's life! magazine