It wasn’t all bad
Twenty years ago, Robert VanSumeren stood before Judge Michael Smith as a convicted felon, sentenced to nearly six years in prison for a string of robberies. Last month, the 40-year-old again appeared before Judge Smith at Hillsdale County Courthouse in Michigan—to be sworn in as an attorney. After VanSumeren left prison in 2005, he earned degrees in comparative religion, sociology, and psychology. In 2015, he decided to pursue a law degree at Wayne State University, and passed the bar exam last summer. “This seems like an appropriate place to end this chapter of my life,” he said.
A man found his lost wedding band thanks to the kindness of two strangers with a metal detector. Bill Giguere had gone hiking on a New Hampshire mountain and only realized he’d lost the ring when he got back in his car. He posted a note for help on a hiker’s Facebook group, and Tom Gately and Brendan Cheever answered the call. As Gately and Cheever retraced Giguere’s steps, the metal detector Gately had brought started beeping. They uncovered the ring just below the surface of the snow. Gately credits the find to “good directions from Bill, a little luck, a little fate.”
Searching desperately for a kidney that would let him survive a rare disease, Ricky King posted a last-ditch plea on the back of his car. The sign caught the eye of a neighbor, Armando Llanes, who introduced himself—and found that, like him, King was an Army veteran. Llanes had served for eight years; King retired after 24. Llanes was brought to tears by King’s story, and believing he should “never leave a fallen soldier,” offered to donate his own kidney to save King’s life. While Llanes’ organ won’t go directly to King, he’ll get another kidney in a four-way swap. “It’s that brotherhood,” Llanes said. ■