An Oklahoma woman battling breast cancer was overwhelmed by the kindness of a complete stranger who anonymously picked up her family's bill at a restaurant.
"One of my biggest fears when I got diagnosed was, 'How are we going to do this alone?' And we haven't been alone," Jerina Edwards of Tulsa told ABC News. "It's another example of how good people are. He saw us come in and saw we had been through it and knew what it was like and just reached out. He didn't want any recognition. He just wanted to help."
Edwards, 33, said she, husband Rich and their three children were eating at East China Buffet in Bixby Nov. 30 when the waitress passed them a handwritten note on a restaurant check.
The note read: “I lost my wife to cancer five years ago. I know how tough it can be going through this. Your meal is on me. Merry Christmas."
Edwards was diagnosed with breast cancer in June of this year. She began chemo in July and received bilateral mastectomy. She will soon undergo 33 rounds of radiation.
Edwards believes the man knew she had cancer after noticing she had lost her hair, she said.
Wei Li, manager of East China Buffet, said his employee informed him of Edwards' story of the diner's random act of kindness. He said he is not surprised that generosity is an ongoing occurrence at the neighborhood restaurant.
In an effort to thank the stranger who paid the $50 dinner bill, Edwards shared a photo of the note on her Facebook page.
Thousands responded to the post from around the world. The kind patron who paid the check then reached out to Edwards Sunday after receiving her number from a local news site, Edwards said.
"He called last night and said that his wife died on St. Patrick's Day, 2012, of a pretty rare bone cancer," she said of the man. "He also has three children, two girls and a boy who were about the same age [as my children] when their mother died. He said, 'I know how it is. It invades your whole life, especially around the holidays.'"
She added: "This has just added one example of how people have been so exceptionally kind to us during this. My 15-year-old stepdaughter said, 'This is stuff you see on the internet. That doesn't happen in real life.' And there we were."