Lynchburg, VA- Two strangers from the Lynchburg area are fighting the same battle, but they didn't know it until a week ago.
It took a train ride gone wrong for them to meet, and form an unforgettable bond.
Two women, one from Forest and one from Goode, both dealing with the pain of seeing a loved one battle cancer. It's a friendship that started after their train ride took an unexpected turn.
A suspicious package was reported along the tracks between the Manassas Park station and the Burke station on September 19. When officers inspected the package, they uncovered what they thought was human remains. The entire area was shutdown, as police began their investigation. And on a train just miles down the track, passengers sat and waited.
"Everything has a purpose," said Betty Luck, who was on the train.
Four hours -- cooped up on a train with strangers.
"Things happen the way they do for a reason. And who knows why people are thrown together," said Melinda Arthur, who was also on the train.
Betty and Fred Luck were on their way home from Philadelphia, where Fred was receiving treatment for bladder cancer.
"I was exhausted," said Fred Luck, Betty's husband.
In pain and extremely dehydrated, a delay was the last thing Fred needed. Then, the Lucks' luck changed. Enter, Melinda Arthur.
"Melinda was so warm and open and caring," said Betty.
Arthur has had more than her fair share of run-ins with cancer.
"It has touched virtually everybody that I know," said Arthur.
"To me, that was not a coincidence," said Betty.
Arthur comforted the Lucks. She shared her own husband's battle and victory over cancer... sealing their new friendship with a pin.
"She had this beautiful pin, and I noticed it immediately," said Betty.
Five figures reaching up to the sun.
"Betty was admiring it, so I gave it to her. And I told her, never stop reaching for the sun. You have to spread hope," said Arthur.
Both Arthur and the Lucks say they will stay in touch and check up on each other. Betty Luck says Arthur was like an angel to them that night. Arthur says she's just glad she could help.
Arthur also participates in several cancer awareness and fundraising programs. One is in honor of a little boy named Collin. Here is some information from Arthur about the program:
Team Collin was founded by a group of cycling enthusiasts who met on the Internet. The son of one of the forum members was named Collin. He was diagnosed with AML, an aggressive leukemia, when he was seven months old. People from all over the country followed his story as told by his parents online. They had exciting highs and tragic lows along their journey. We raised money to help the family pay the enormous medical bills. After Collin's passing at just two years and two weeks of age, we wanted to do more. We wanted to be active in finding a cure so other families don't lose their babies. We formed Team Collin to ride our bikes in an event called 24 Hours of Booty, which is like Relay for Life on bikes. In the past three years we have grown to a team of over 30 members from 17 states. We have ridden in three events in Atlanta and Indianapolis and have raised nearly $30,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, LiveStrong. We have also raised money for numerous cancer initiatives, many focusing on children. Please help our efforts to fight cancer and assist survivors. Click here to support a team member, or a team at large for the upcoming Atlanta ride in October, or click here for Indianapolis.