A soul may descend to this world, and live 70 or 80 years, just in order to do a Jew a material favor, and certainly a spiritual one. — The Baal Shem Tov

This story was shared by a friend who asked to remain anonymous, yet felt it necessary to publicize the miracle that happened to her daughter as a result of one act of kindness. I think that there is no better way to demonstrate how doing a single favor for a person in need can create a channel for blessings and healing.

My daughter was born with a chronic illness that was transmitted to her during pregnancy. From the time she was 6 months old, my husband and I became frequent visitors to specialists at theI cried through many sleepless nights Columbia and Cornell New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York. Our little girl had to go through numerous blood tests, sonograms and biopsies. As a mother, I carried unbearable pain, feeling guilty for “giving” this condition to my child. I clearly remember that when we first received the horrific news of the illness, I turned to G‑d and prayed to heal my child. I cried through many sleepless nights and prayed for a miracle.

A group of prominent doctors were assigned to our daughter’s case. This team of specialists offered a treatment option, but it was not intended for such young patients and would be considered experimental. The doctors were convinced that we had to start as soon as possible, but at the same time they warned us about potential serious side effects. The proposed treatment consisted of two different painful shots twice a day. We felt overwhelmed by the pressure to make a decision.

As a mother, I was so desperate for a solution that I was ready to sign the waiver, yet my husband felt differently. He was carefully evaluating the risks and benefits. This caused tremendous anguish in the family. The doctors needed both parents’ consent.

As weeks went by, my husband convinced me to take more time before making such a serious decision. I reluctantly agreed, hoping that soon the treatment would be approved by the FDA for use on small children.

My husband had an unwavering commitment to his trust in G‑d and believed that our daughter would live a healthy life. As we continued to visit doctors on a regular basis, my husband encouraged me to pray, be kind to other people and focus on doing good deeds.

Years went by, and while our daughter’s condition was stable, we were still fearful about the potential threat the illness had on her life.

In January of 2007, we had an appointment at New York Presbyterian Hospital with a specialist. Our daughter was 6 years old, attending second grade at a private Jewish school. Before we left home, I asked my husband to take $500 cash with us, as I was planning to drop it off at the school later that day to pay tuition fees. Our financial situation was challenging, and I was always carefully putting tuition money aside, dollar by dollar.

We came to the hospital and sat in the waiting room. As my eyes wandered, I noticed an Orthodox-looking Jewish woman with a boy sitting in a stroller. He was around 8, pale, and had no hair. I sighed at the thought of his diagnosis. His mother got up from her seat and approached the receptionist. After receiving a negative response, she began to approach every person in the waiting room, asking for something. I couldn’t hear what the woman was saying, but soon she came up to me and my husband and asked if we could lend her $10.

Unlike the other people in the waiting room, my husband was attentive to the woman’s plight. He asked if perhaps she needed more money than what she requested. The woman explained that she needed $10 to go back home to a neighboring town, and that she somehow forgot to take enough money for her return trip. To my surprise, my husband insisted that $10 would not be enough.

The woman thanked my husband again and said that he was right. She had been hoping to make a stop at the Social Security office nearby to apply for her son’s documents. She explained that they don’t come to the city often and could use this opportunity to file the necessary paperwork.

I was aware that everyone in the waiting room was looking at us. Most people had already been approached by this desperate mother and knew that she was asking for money. Sadly, people in the waiting room were overwhelmed by their own problems and no one had offered to help.

As I watched this interaction, my husband took out a $10 bill from his wallet and then pulled a $100 bill from the money intended for school tuition. I admit that I was shocked. We had no extra money saved, and the tuition was due. Despite my frustration, I said nothing.

The woman thanked us, wrote down our address and promised that she would pay us back via check for $110 dollars as soon as possible. Those sitting in the waiting room, including the receptionist, watched my husband smile and reassure her that he was happy to help. “We are Jews, and we need to help each other in hard times,” he told her.

The woman must have sensed myShe must have sensed my anxiety anxiety about the money. She looked into my eyes and said, “We are all here in this pediatric department of the hospital because our children are sick. You just did a great mitzvah. I want to bless you that today, the doctor will give you wonderful news about your daughter.”

Just then, the receptionist called our name, and we went to the examination room to speak to the team of doctors.

Even though I was upset with my husband for giving one-fifth of the tuition money to a complete stranger, I decided not to discuss the incident and just focus on our daughter’s appointment. As usual, the doctors first reviewed our daughter’s blood count and sonograms. This always caused us a tremendous amount of anxiety as we waited for them to analyze her recent results and determine the prognosis.

After a few minutes, the doctor came in and started to review our daughter’s recent blood test. He looked genuinely surprised at what he saw. I distinctly remember that he left the room and came back again with a few more specialists from the team. They all kept looking at the results, discussing it and examining our daughter.

After the longest 20 minutes of our lives, the doctors congratulated my husband and me. They explained that our daughter’s blood count was within normal limits, and she was no longer at risk for a cancer diagnosis. We were speechless as they literally applauded our little girl.

We walked out from the office in a daze. As we approached the elevator, the woman and her son joined us among the patients leaving the building.

When the elevator arrived at the first floor, she smiled at us and silently walked onto the street. Absorbed in our thoughts, we moved slowly towards the exit, and by the time we left the lobby they were no longer in sight.

Five days later, we received an envelope with a check for $110 dollars, and a thank you” note explaining how much we had helped in her time of need.

Sometimes, in my mind’s eye, I see that woman’s face as clear as the day we met her—a day that changed our lives forever. Our daughter is now 18 years old, and she has been disease-free since that unforgettable day at the hospital. She is still required to have annual blood tests and sonograms, yet each time I know in my heart that her results will be good.

The doctors still can’t explain what exactly happened. They call her a miracle baby.

Kindness and charity can change a person’s destiny. My family witnessed that to be true! I must admit that I probably would be skeptical if I read this story about someone else. Yet it happened to my family and my own child. I believe that kindness opens the gates of blessings and healing.

“Love your fellow as yourself.”1 This directive reveals true greatness hidden inside of us. When we are able to open ourselves to the plight of others, we create a vessel for our own blessings. “G‑d is your shadow,”2 and just as a person’s shadow resembles his or her actions, so does G‑d reciprocate our deeds.