The week's good news: May 17, 2018
First grader checks on elderly neighbor '4 to 5 times a day' to make sure she's okay
Wilma Bray just might have the best neighbor in all of Jackson, Tennessee. Every day, rain or shine, Bray's neighbor, 7-year-old Caleb, stops by her house to make sure everything's okay. Bray, 78, has been fighting breast and lung cancer for the last two years, and she's undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. Her granddaughter, Darrien Middleton, says Caleb visits Bray "four or five times a day," and told her it's so he can "check on her, to make sure she wakes up from all of her naps." Caleb, who lives next door with his own grandmother, "is a wonderful kid," Middleton told Yahoo. "Most kids running around at that age aren't visiting a 78-year-old woman." Caleb enjoys school, dancing, and making people laugh, and Middleton jokes that her grandmother is "obsessed" with him, adding that she "treats him like her grandson."
81-year-old blood donor has saved more than 2.4 million lives
In Australia, James Harrison is known as "the man with the golden arm." Every few weeks for the past six decades, he has overcome his strong dislike of needles and given blood — saving the lives of more than 2.4 million Australian babies in the process. Harrison's exceptionally rare blood type contains antibodies that are used to make Anti-D, a medicine given to mothers whose blood is at risk of attacking their unborn babies. Last week, the 81-year-old gave his last donation, having reached the maximum age allowed for donors in Australia. "It was sad," Harrison said, "because I felt like I could keep going."
This WWII vet wants to meet every state's governor before his 100th birthday
Sidney Walton, a 99-year-old World War II veteran, still wishes he had stopped 78 years ago when he saw a gathering of Civil War veterans in Central Park. That's why Walton, a Brooklyn native now residing in San Diego, is on his "No Regrets Tour," with the goal of meeting the governor of every state by the time he turns 100 next February. Walton wants to make sure that before there aren't any World War II veterans left, anyone who wants to meet one has the opportunity to do so. "It is important that they meet living history, they meet someone who fought in World War II," Walton's son, Paul, told the New York Daily News. So far, the Army veteran has met with the governors of four states, and was made an honorary brigadier general of the Rhode Island Militia and given a Medal of Merit by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R).
Climber who lost his feet to frostbite summits Mount Everest decades after his first attempt
When Xia Boyu reached the top of Mount Everest on Monday, it was the culmination of a journey that began more than four decades ago. The Chinese climber was in his mid-20s when he first tried to scale Mount Everest, but before he could make it to the top, was stopped by bad weather. He lost his feet to frostbite, and about 20 years ago, lost his legs beneath the knee to lymphoma, NPR reports. Despite the setbacks, Xia said he never gave up on his dream to summit Mount Everest. He tried three more times, unsuccessfully — in 2014 and 2015, the climbing seasons were canceled, and in 2016, he was almost to the top but had to turn back because of bad weather. "Climbing Mount Everest is my dream," he told Agence France-Presse before heading back last month. "I have to realize it. It also represents a personal challenge, a challenge of fate."
Cleveland bus driver goes 1.2 million miles without a preventable accident
For more than 40 years, Godwin McNeal has delivered passengers safely to their destinations across Cleveland, going 1.2 million miles without a preventable accident. The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority wants drivers to have no more than 14 preventable accidents per 1 million miles, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. When he started driving in the 1970s, there wasn't any power steering and "you had to stand up to turn," he said. "Everyone needed muscles." McNeal told the Plain Dealer that his job allows him to "soak up the sunshine" and "see the seasons," and he enjoys meeting passengers, especially tourists, because "you can travel into their country just by listening." The father of four has had a few unavoidable accidents, but has been lauded for his safety record, receiving awards and even being asked to throw out the first pitch at an Indians game.