When an unsmiling stranger shows up at your door in sunglasses and hat to conceal his identity, it's not often a sign of good tidings.
But for Stephanie Headley, of Ottawa, the visit just might save her life. The tall, slender man handed over a CA$128,000 check (about $119,000) to cover a stem cell treatment for her autoimmune disorder, according to reports.
Headley said she collapsed in shock when she opened the envelope and saw the amount. "This is a miracle," she told the CBC.
According to the outlet, Headley, a 48-year-old single mother of four, is now scheduled to begin her treatment Sept. 22 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She has an aggressive form of systemic scleroderma, which can harden the vital organs and connective tissue, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The outlook was very different last month. In a June 28 tweet, Headley made an appeal on Twitter that she wanted to live long enough to see her children reach an important milestone.
Need to be apart of all my kids Grad's. Will break our hearts if I have to leave before they go upon their way. Tears pic.twitter.com/wmcp72I5qy
— Stephanie Headley (@StephHeadley66) June 28, 2014
The Headleys had begun crowdfunding donations for the treatment but were short.
On July 3, a stranger called, originally asking for Headley's daughter Skyler but then telling Headley he wanted to make an anonymous donation, she told 1310 News. She prepared a thank-you note. He arrived in 10 minutes and handed her an envelope without saying a word. She told the station she gave him the thank-you and said "bless you," finally getting a smile from him.
She then shut the door and opened the envelope to see the check. Way more zeroes than she expected. "I tried to make sure that I was seeing what I was seeing," she said in the interview.
After the bank confirmed the check was real, she later told the world ...
... and offered more thanks.