The week's good news: October 19, 2017
It wasn't all bad!
Brave rescue dog saves family from rattlesnake
They rescued her, and on Sunday, Nala returned the favor. Nala, a boxer dog, was walking with her owners in their Lancaster, California, neighborhood when she jumped in front of them, protecting Cole Lewis, 10, and his mother from a Mojave green rattlesnake. "She waited until we were safe," Lewis told ABC Los Angeles. "She stood her ground. She didn't whimper or anything when she got bit." The snake bit Nala on the nose, making her bleed. Lewis' stepfather, Anthony Borquez, knew that the faster you get help for a poisonous bite, the greater the chance of survival, so Nala was rushed to the vet and is expected to recover. "She saved my life, and I just want to hang out with her now because she's my hero," Lewis said.
Nonprofit helps sick kids have unforgettable sports experiences
While volunteering at a children's hospital in the early 1990s, Blake Rockwell would talk with the kids about sports and watch games with them, an experience that inspired Rockwell to start Special Spectators, a nonprofit that gets seriously ill children out of the hospital and onto the field. Since 2002, more than 10,000 kids and their families have received VIP treatment at college athletic games. Each event is unique, but the kids typically meet the coaches and players, get to try on gear, attend a tailgate, sit in the best seats, and go on the field, where they are greeted with cheers. "A lot of these kids, they're in it for the long haul," Rockwell told CNN. "Their treatment protocol might be three years. And their tanks start to run low. Days like this restore the spirit in these kids to continue to fight."
Double amputee veteran running 31 marathons in 31 cities in 31 days
As he prepared to run 31 marathons in 31 cities in 31 days, Rob Jones had set two major goals for himself: raise money for charities that help veterans, and show other vets they can fully integrate back into society. In 2010, while serving as a corporal in the Marine Corps, Jones stepped on a mine and it exploded, severing his legs below the knee. He came home to the U.S., where through grueling physical therapy, he learned how to walk with prosthetics. In 2012, he won a bronze medal in rowing at the Paralympics. Jones will log 806 miles over his 31 marathons, the last of which is on Nov. 11, Veterans Day, in Washington, D.C. "Hopefully, when a veteran sees that I was able to lose both legs above the knee and still have a purpose, still be a part of society ... they can picture themselves doing it," Jones told Time.
Strangers make young cancer patient's Halloween wishes come true
Brock Chadwick loves Halloween, but this year, he's celebrating a new holiday, Brocktoberfest, with new friends from around the world. His great-aunt came up with the idea to celebrate Brocktoberfest as a way to cheer up the 7-year-old from Maine. Chadwick was diagnosed earlier this year with glioblastoma, a cancer affecting his brain and spine, and his mom, Brittney Horton, told ABC News that a recent MRI scan showed he has more tumors growing. He's receiving treatment, but because his family isn't sure if he'll be able to go trick-or-treating or attend Halloween parties, they asked friends on social media to send him cards. Gifts started flooding in from friends as well as strangers, and he's already received more than 1,000 cards from around the world. "It's made him smile a whole lot more," Horton said.
Apocalypse survivalist donates stockpiled goods to Puerto Rico
A New Jersey survivalist who spent decades preparing for the apocalypse is donating all of his goods to Puerto Rico, in honor of his late wife. Joseph and Phyllis Badame shared a passion for prepping, custom-building their home with bunk beds and stocking up on dried food. When Badame's wife passed away and their house went into foreclosure, he decided to pay their survivalist skills forward to victims in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico. The 74-year-old has donated 80 barrels of goods to the U.S. territory — enough to sustain two villages for months. "Those people are starving," he told The Washington Post. "I just can't sit by."