Even when the news stirs your emotions raw, it can have a positive ripple effect.
Amid the war, disease, and destruction that gets reported every day, there are stories that give you reason to hope: people who tirelessly help others, celebrities who bring attention to important issues, and everyday people who overcome incredible odds. Here, a round up of this year’s most moving accounts:
1. Ebola survivor Nina Pham meets Obama — and is reunited with her dog.
After caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian national who died of Ebola in October at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, 26-year-old nurse Nina Pham contracted the deadly disease herself — becoming the first person to be infected with Ebola within the United States. And despite a grim outlook, she beat the odds with courage: She was flown to Bethesda, Maryland, where she was successfully treated with experimental treatments. Pham praised others who helped her, and even met with (and hugged!) President Obama after beating the virus. In November, Pham was also reunited with her Cavalier King Charles spaniel Bentley (the dog was quarantined shortly after her diagnosis but ultimately tested negative for the disease).
2. Ebola survivor Kent Brantly donates his own blood after beating the virus.
Kent Brantly — the missionary doctor who was infected with Ebola after caring for patients in Liberia — made national news for more than just contracting (and beating) the illness. Brantly also selflessly donated the plasma in his blood to help multiple Ebola patients in the fight to regain their health — including Nina Pham. Calling it an honor to be able to give his blood, the doctor has also said in interviews that he doesn’t consider himself a hero, and that it’s the least he could have done if he couldn’t be overseas helping fight Ebola. In a dire health scare, Brantly not only brought life to a deadly situation, but incredible hope for victims of the disease and researchers, alike.
3. A 29-year-old woman brings attention to themovement to die with dignity.