2018 has been a busy news year, often filled with stories of tragedy and heartbreak.
But Global BC wanted to highlight some of the heartwarming stories that made headlines this year — filled with countless acts of kindness and generosity that helped restore people’s faith in humanity.
READ MORE: 2018 BC Year in Review
She stopped and helped when no one would
In March, a story went viral around the world of a woman who met a man named Sid in Surrey.
Mariam Roya was leaving the Superstore parking lot on King George Boulevard in Surrey near 74 Avenue when she noticed someone laying in the road.
“I just saw him frazzled and just in the middle of the street, right before the intersection and he was just on the ground,” Roya told Global News. “For a minute, I didn’t know what he was doing but I saw him — he was trying to get up and he just fell.”
It turns out, Sid, who is 80 years old and of no fixed address, had tripped trying to cross the street and fell, hitting his face on the road.
Roya said the worst part was that no one was stopping to help.
It turns out, Sid had been laying on the road for about 10 minutes before Roya stopped to help.
She helped get Sid to hospital and the care he needed to make a full recovery.
Roya wanted everyone to know that what she did doesn’t make her any type of hero — it just makes her a better human.
“When you know someone needs the help, regardless of who it is, just reach out and help,” she said. “If we all just did our part, half the world’s problems would be gone.
“My message is, ‘Let’s bring back humanity. Let’s not think about anything else but to help each other.’”
WATCH: (Aired March 14, 2018) Good Samaritan stops to help hurt elderly man
BC SPCA rescue dogs, find their forever home
In June, Global BC did a feature on some of the BC SPCA rescue dogs featured on our Global BC News at Noon.
Global News viewers will remember Cedric as Tank — the boxer who was seized by the BC SPCA in February. He had been kept in a crate and was so grossly underweight he was less than half his ideal body size.
The neglected pup was so emaciated, his body condition score was barely a one on the body condition score scale of one to nine, and his organs were shutting down.
Cedric now has a new loving home.
“You wouldn’t know that he was neglected and abused, the way he is.”
Handsome, a mastiff, had the same body score as Cedric when he was rescued outside a home in Hope, just one out of nine.
He was starving when they found him in December, with sores on his paws and his teeth worn down right to the gums.
After a Langley businessman donated $4,000 for Handsome’s medical bills, he was featured on the Global News adopt-a-pet segment, and in February was adopted to a loving family.
WATCH: (Aired Dec. 23, 2017) Jill Bennett has the latest on the generous Langley businessman who decided to help Handsome. And a warning, this story does contain some disturbing images.
“He loves people, he loves his toys,” BC SPCA senior animal protection officer Eileen Drever said.
‘If I died tomorrow, I’ve lived’
Residents of a Burnaby senior care facility who dreamed of one day going fishing again got to live out their dream this past July.
Recreation manager at Dania Home in Burnaby, Leslie Torresan, said the experience came about because one of the residents, Bob Clough, 87, is always sharing fishing stories.
“His eyes would well with tears just to tell about the 81-pounder that he caught,” Torresan said.
“It fills my heart, oh my goodness, when we got the fishing lines last night. I phoned Bob, and the nurses got him on the phone, I said, ‘OK Bob, we are ready to go,’ and he was just so happy. So for me, this is just a thrill to have them out here,” she added.
Clough was joined by Cecilia Wkjord, 99, and Raymond Chung, 105.
“It’s so important, first of all, to enable them to pursue their past leisure interests. Moving to a care home, they thought, ‘Oh, this will never happen, I’m in a wheelchair, I won’t be able to,’ and we really want to try to get them to be able to continue doing their past leisure interests,” Torresan said.
WATCH: (Aired July 12, 2018) A new dock in an urban lake in Metro Vancouver is allowing some senior anglers to get back in the game. Linda Aylesworth reports.
B.C. father in serious accident, hours before his wife gives birth
It was a meeting many feared would never happen.
In early October, Jonathan Sedman from Surrey was seriously injured at Saratoga Speedway in Black Creek on Vancouver Island.
Sedman, a pyrotechnics professional, was setting up a fireworks show when a race car lost control, jumped the barricade and landed on top of him.
Hours after he was airlifted to hospital, his wife went into labour and gave birth to their son.
WATCH: (Aired Oct. 5, 2018) Family and friends rally around new father critically injured in accident at Vancouver Island car race
When Sedman was awake and feeling up to it, Global News cameras were there when he got to meet his son Kayden for the first time.
A GoFundMe for the couple raised almost $30,000.
WATCH: (Aired Oct. 14, 2018) B.C. man crushed by car meets newborn son for the first time
A bike for Brayden
The story of Brayden Grozdanich touched many hearts when it aired in mid-October.
His unique bike was stolen.
Grozdanich was born with cerebral palsy and had to regularly endure painful physiotherapy to stretch his muscles. He had long wanted an adaptive bike that would allow him to play with his friends.
In September, he got his wish, when the Ridge Meadows Child Development Centre gave him just such a bike, valued at $5,000.
He had only one day to ride the three-wheeled bike because he had to undergo another surgery the following day. While he was recuperating, his elementary school stored it for him in a locked container.
That’s when the bike was stolen.
But Variety, the Children’s Charity, stepped in to give Grozdanich a new bike.
Grozdanich was left speechless.
WATCH: (Aired Oct. 18, 2018) Happy ending to story of stolen special needs bike
Puppies stranded for four days rescued off cliff
They were cold, wet, hungry and confused, but after four days stranded atop a Fraser Valley cliff in late October, a pair of puppies were rescued.
Mission Search and Rescue was called to a rural area on Stave Lake Road in Mission and even though rescuing animals is outside of the team’s mandate, organizers decided to deploy when they became concerned for a group of locals that planned to head out into difficult terrain to locate the pups.
Neighbour Emma Wilfert said she had heard the dogs howling from up on the steep embankment for days, adding that it’s not difficult to get trapped in the area.
“People or dogs go up into that area, go into the bush because it doesn’t seem too rough, and then all of a sudden before they know it, they are on this side of the mountain on a very steep cliff and they can’t get out,” she said.
About 15 volunteers were involved in the rescue, and were carrying specialized dog harnesses for a rope rescue, if necessary.
As it turned out, the special gear wasn’t needed. When rescuers reached the top of the cliff, they held out their jackets and the puppies jumped right in, the SAR team said.
WATCH: (Aired Oct. 28, 2018) WATCH: Puppies stranded for days finally rescued
In early November, the puppies were adopted by two members of the Search and Rescue team that saved them.
WATCH: (Aired Nov. 3, 2018) St. Bernard-cross puppies rescued off B.C. cliff get forever homes
Media coverage helps bring stolen dog home
In early December, it was the happy ending Michael Lorimer was hoping for.
The well-known panhandler, who has become a fixture of the intersection at Hastings and Nanaimo, had his heart broken the week before when someone stole Mishah, a chihuahua-cross that’s been his constant companion for five years.
The news kicked off a huge search for the dog and a week later, Vancouver police said they received two 911 calls from citizens who believed they had found Mishah in the north lane of Water Street near Abbott.
They had recognized her from recent media coverage.
Officers arrived and found Mishah with a 33-year-old Vancouver man.
Police say the man was taken to jail on an unrelated warrant.
Lorimer, who is not homeless, became a panhandler after a car crash left him in a wheelchair with a spinal injury.
He told Global News last week that the rescue dog is the closest thing he has left to family.
“She’s my dog. I lost my wife and my parents. She’s the only thing I have left,” he said.
WATCH: (Aired Dec. 1, 2018) East Vancouver panhandler’s dog stolen
— With files from Simon Little, Neetu Garcha, Kylie Stanton, Linda Aylesworth and Grace Ke