Chester was hungry as he rang the doorbell of a gated estate for help. As she peered through the curtains, Gayle saw a young man thin as a stick with a tin cup clanging on the metal to raise attention. At first she thought how germs and danger could be lurking around such a dirty fellow, but Gayle’s heart had a different intention. It wasn’t sympathy she felt, but a deep empathy for a person so young looking and torn up. As she gingerly approached the gate, Chester spoke. He was in tears because his father had just died of pancreatic cancer a month ago leaving their foreclosure with the bank and Chester without a place to live. He was broke and broken, with an empty heart and empty pockets. She gave him $300.
Chester was so thrilled he couldn’t stop balling. He promised her that this money would take him far ahead and he’d show her how much. Gayle felt great about it and hoped Chester the best in the world and to put his gifts toward his aims.
Years went by, even decades and Gayle had lost her job of 20 years as an executive. The company was downsizing and gave her a severance to last 12 months then Gayle was to live on her own savings. She lost her house and moved to an apartment, and was making far less than before to make ends meet. Today, she just came back from
her primary care doctor with a note. It was an appointment for a biopsy because the x-rays found a lump in her breast. She fainted on the spot. After 20 minutes, she got herself back up and lonely and scared, she booked the appointment.
Gayle’s test results were positive, she had an incurable stage 3 cancer that only 302 people in the country had, and only one survived. Her health insurance had run out of room and she had no way to pay for the road ahead. Her only alternative was to play it out and die.
But the story doesn’t end here. That afternoon, Gayle found an envelope in her mailbox with a handwritten note in it. Behind the note was a copy of her insurance certificate she had sent in to fund her medical help.
Your primary care doctor phoned me at my office at Johns Hopkins Medical Center telling me about your situation. From the time I left your gate with $300, your reaching out launched me into a massive initiative. To make a long story short, I graduated in medical school top of my class, and today I’m the leading breast cancer specialist in the top hospital in the nation and I’m going to do all I can to save your life, because you saved mine.
As the tears rolled down her face with black mascara trails she noticed a giant zero on the invoice Chester sent back with a post it note saying “this is free of cost”.
When you have the opportunity to reach out to someone, remember this, because you don’t know how much good you do in the world with your heart’s intention.