Email claiming to be from Gary Hogman, (aka Gary Hogan) a soldier serving in Iraq, asks recipients to pray for Gary’s wife Cindy who has been diagnosed with cervical cancer.
The original version of the prayer request was true. However, this version is very outdated and contains inaccurate information.
Subject: Fw: Fw: Fwd: Prayer Request
Prayer request for Gary and Cindy Hogman – don’t delete please!
Gary is serving in Iraq while his young wife is fighting cancer here.
Prayer is a powerful thing. THIS COUPLE NEEDS OUR PRAYERS.
PLEASE read this. IT MUST BE TERRIBLY DIFFICULT TO BE IN IRAQ WITH A SICK WIFE AT HOME.
Tough times don’t last… Tough people do.
My name is Gary Hogman. Some of you receiving this know me, some do not. My wife, Cindy, is 32 years old and has just been diagnosed 3 days ago with stage 4 cervical cancer and her chances for survival are very slim.
She was pregnant
with our second child and had miscarried recently at 3 months, and now we know why. This is a request for you to forward this e-mail to everyone you know asking for prayer. The more people that pray her to be healed, the better.
Pray and forward. It only takes a second to hit ‘forward’. Please do it and don’t delete this, your prayer can, and perhaps will, save her life. Please pray and ask everyone you know to pray for the HEALING of Cindy and the removal of all cancer in her body, so she may enjoy all that life has to offer, and to continue to be the wonderful Mother to our 5 year old son Michael. The power of Prayer is unsurpassed.
I want the whole world to have her in their prayers the next few weeks. God will hear our cry. Please do not be offended by my plea.. This is only a request for your help.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this and helping with our request for healing! No words can express the power we have when we each do a little to come together.
Regards, Cindy’s husband -Gary
Thank you, and please send it to the far reaches of our world.
Thanks, God Bless you all,
This widely forwarded email asks us to pray for the recovery of 32-year-old mother Cindy Hogman. According to the message, Cindy has been recently diagnosed with cervical cancer and her chances of survival are slim. And to make matters worse, claims the email, Cindy’s husband Gary Hogman is currently serving in Iraq and therefore cannot be with her. However, the information in the message is inaccurate and outdated.
Gary and Cindy Hogman are real people and Cindy was indeed diagnosed with cervical cancer back in 2001. Soon after the diagnosis, Gary sent out the original version of the above prayer request in a bid to garner prayers for his ailing wife. At the time that Cindy was diagnosed, the couple reportedly lived in Bedford, Texas. According to an unconfirmed report published on a Prayer Request Update website on January 9 2002, Cindy was in remission after undergoing extensive chemo and radiation therapy and her husband believed that she had been healed. More current information about Cindy is so far proving elusive.
Unfortunately, mutated versions of Gary Hogman’s initial prayer request email have continued to circulate to this day. Some versions, like the one included above, claim that Gary Hogman is a soldier serving in Iraq while his wife battles her illness at home without him. However, these claims are false. Gary Hogman is not serving in Iraq nor has he ever done so. This false information was apparently tacked on to the message at some point in its journey.
Moreover, many versions of the email change the surname of the couple from Hogman to Hogan. And the couple’s supposed location varies considerably from version to version. As noted, in this version, Gary is supposedly serving in Iraq. In others he is listed as being from a number of other locations across the United States and Canada, including Atlanta, Georgia, Orlando, Florida, Sugar Land, Texas and Fredericton, New Brunswick just to name a few. In some, he is identified as a bank worker or as simply a member of the local church community in one of the many towns or cities listed in different versions of the message.
The story took another strange twist in 2006 when a man living in Fredericton, Canada named Gary Hogan and his partner Michelle Millen began receiving dozens of phone calls asking about Gary’s ill wife “Cindy”. Since one version of the prayer request claimed that Gary and Cindy lived in Fredericton, many recipients mistakenly identified Fredericton’s real “Gary Hogan” as the ailing Cindy’s concerned husband. The couple first thought they were simply receiving a lot of wrong number calls until they were made aware of the emailed prayer request that erroneously used Gary’s name.
Given that all of the versions currently circulating contain inaccurate and very outdated information – and in many cases do not even refer to the right people (Hogan instead of Hogman) – sending on this prayer request seems pointless. Depending on which version of the email you get, your prayers may in fact be directed to the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time. And, hopefully, the real Gary and Cindy Hogman may no longer require prayers for Cindy’s health. Those who believe that such prayer requests can actually help may be better off directing their prayers towards people whose needs are more urgent and whose details can actually be verified.