Stranger pays for dying woman's treatment

OTTAWA -- She knows he's tall, slender and generous, but she does not know the name of the man who anonymously donated $128,000 so she can receive "life-saving" stem cell treatment in Chicago.

"We just can't believe it. The future is incredible right now," said Stephanie Headley, 47, who uses an oxygen tank due to damaged lungs.

The single mother of four was diagnosed in 2002 with an aggressive form of systemic scleroderma, an autoimmune disease that hardens the skin and organs.

Doctors didn't expect her to survive this long, but she credits a positive outlook and the support from her parents after her marriage fell apart.

Nonetheless, the disease is progressing and Headley was expecting to die sooner than later from heart failure.

Her family launched a fundraising campaign on, titled Please Save Our Mom, two months ago for a stem cell transplant at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Headley was stunned when a man delivered a $128,000 bank draft on July 3.

"He's given me my life," said Headley.

"He's saved my kids enormous pain."

She said the man phoned and wanted to stop by with a donation.

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Stranger pays for dying woman's treatment

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