Man with MS Has Credit Card Declined at Target, Then Stranger Pays $367 Bill & Walks Away


One way to describe the idea of grace is to say that it’s like someone else paying a bill you can’t owe. Do you find that as powerful of a concept as I do?

We’ve all had some sort of debt hanging around our necks at one point in time. It’s confining, constricting and often embarrassing.

And have you ever had someone step in and eliminate that debt? If you have, you know it’s an amazing feeling.

Christy Stone of Clinton Township, Michigan, has felt it. According to ABC News, her son, Tory, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

A nasty disease, it necessitates specialized equipment, and Troy had to use a ventilator to help with his breathing. But in 2016, the family fell behind on their power bill, racking up an outstanding balance of $1,023.

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When the power company shut off the juice, Stone called 911 and firefighter Ryan McCuen showed up. After hearing the family’s story, he did something amazing.

He called the power company and paid the whole bill. “When she explained the unpaid bill, her family’s situation, and how she didn’t know what to do, it was a no-brainer for me,” he said.

Harold and Cynthia Vale from Frederick, Colorado, experienced something similar in June. Both ill, they’d driven a toll road to get to their physicians for months and never received a bill.

When it came in the mail, it was over $200, and the couple couldn’t pay it, which made it balloon to $1,667 and eventually ended up in the hands of a collection agency. KMGH reported that a customer service manager graciously agreed to strip away the fees, restoring the balance to around its original amount.

Even better, an anonymous donor paid the remainder after hearing about the Vale’s travails on the news. “We’re going through a lot of things with my cancer,” Harold said.

In nearby Ahwatukee, Arizona, Howard Gipson had been struggling with health issues himself. In addition to suffering from multiple sclerosis, he’d just moved to the Grand Canyon State from California.

KTVI reported that Gipson must’ve also had some financial difficulties. When he went to ring up his purchases at a local Target, his card got denied.

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“I was like no way,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

In most cases, the people behind him in line would’ve started grumbling. Some might’ve even offered choice words about his fiscal responsibility.

But while Gipson shuffled around, trying to come up with the $367 he owed, an individual in the line took charge of the situation. The person quietly stepped forward, paid the full amount that Gipson owed, and left without a word.

Once Gipson realized what had happened, he raced out into the parking, hoping to offer his thanks. But his benefactor had already vanished.

“There’s good everywhere,” said Gipson. “It just takes people to do it, just do it, and when somebody does it, just accept it and be grateful.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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