When your bag gets misplaced while you're traveling, it's always incredibly frustrating. But when you're battling stage four colon cancer, this mix-up has the potential to be more than just an annoyance.
Stacy Hurt was returning to Pittsburgh from a colon cancer advocacy retreat when she was able to snatch an earlier flight home. However, the mom of two's suitcase was on her original plane and due to issues, the Southwest flight was canceled and her belongings were stuck in Nashville.
For some, this would be an inconvenience, but for this cancer patient, it was panic-inducing because the bag contained the "good luck" items that Stacy brought with her to each and every chemotherapy session. "Anyone who has been through cancer and chemotherapy or radiation knows that there are certain vital items that you carry to every treatment. It's a routine that becomes your 'abnormal' life," Stacy told POPSUGAR. "If you don't have those items, whether they are faith symbols, or clothing, or medications that help you deal with side effects, your whole world is shaken."
Stacy has brought a rosary and a shirt that says, "Where there is no struggle, there is no strength," to every appointment, and those items along with medication to help with the side effects from the chemo were in her checked bag. "Enduring the treatment itself is tough enough, but to be without your 'comfort articles,' it's devastating. You feel especially vulnerable, shaken, and scared," Stacy said. "The routine is what helps you cope with the whole tragedy of what you are up against. I pretty much take them wherever I go now, since cancer goes with me wherever I go."
Stacy checked them in her bag since they're technically replaceable but didn't consider that she might have to go through treatment without them until her bag was stuck in a different city. "For 50 chemotherapies, I've had them and I'm doing well," she said. "To be without them would feel like a jinx or a step in the wrong direction, and I've come too far and battled too hard to let that happen."
When Stacy called the airline about her bag, she spoke to an employee named Sarah and got emotional as she explained that she had a chemotherapy appointment in the morning. Sarah couldn't get the bag to the airport any faster, but when it landed at the airport in the middle of the night, she did something incredible.
This stranger drove to Stacy's home at 3 a.m. and safely dropped off her bag along with a heartfelt note. "Sorry for the delay getting your bag to you!" Sarah wrote. "My Southwest family are thinking of you and wishing all the best. Kick that cancer's BUTT!"
Stacy sobbed when she saw her missing suitcase and what this stranger did on her own time to ensure that her personal belongings arrived before her treatment. "Before I fell ill, I spent my professional career in sales, marketing, and operations. I know first-hand how most times, you only hear 'the bad' and when someone so extraordinary touched my life, I knew it was my mission to tell Southwest Airlines about 'the good,'" Sarah said.
Since posting a photo of Sarah's note on Facebook to thank both her and the airline, Stacy's heartwarming story has gone viral for its uplifting sentiment. "I've always been a fan of Southwest Airlines for how they accommodate people with disabilities, including me and my son, Emmett. Sarah embodied their corporate culture and carried that even a step further with what she did to help and encourage me," she said.