It wasn't all bad
November 16, 2018

On the fifth anniversary of Miles Scott, a.k.a. Batkid, saving San Francisco from the Penguin and the Riddler, the Make-a-Wish Foundation gave a wonderful update: Scott is now cancer free.

Scott was 5 years old and battling leukemia when Make-a-Wish teamed up with the San Francisco mayor's office, police and fire departments, and the Giants to turn the city into Gotham, just for him. After he spent the day getting rid of bad guys and rescuing Giants mascot Lou Seal, he received a key to the city, and the San Francisco Chronicle published the Gotham City Chronicle, his face on the cover along with the headline "Batkid Saves City."

On Thursday, Make-a-Wish said Scott is "a happy, healthy fifth grader," and has been in remission since 2013. He plays baseball in Little League, helps on his family farm, and loves science and robotics. When wishes are granted, the foundation said, they have "proven physical and emotional benefits and can produce better health outcomes." Catherine Garcia

November 15, 2018

With his family by his side, Alex Reins has been busy knitting hats and scarves for people who will need them this winter.

The 9-year-old from Lakewood, Colorado, was inspired to give back after hearing about a person who was discharged from the hospital wearing only a hospital gown and socks, and had to wait for the bus in the cold. "His big heart saw that and he thought, 'We just need to do something to help other people,'" his great-aunt, Cherie DeHerrera, told 9News.

Reins, his mother, Bri Reins, and three great-aunts regularly get together to knit for what they call Alex's Warm Hat Project. They've worked diligently, and they've made more than 300 hats and scarves. They drop them off at local food banks and homeless shelters, for distribution to those who are "out in the cold and don't have enough money to get a hat," Alex Reins said. It's not difficult to make the scarves and hats, Bri Reins said, and it makes a huge difference in people's lives: "You can turn a ball of yarn into something beautiful." Catherine Garcia

November 15, 2018

This was not your average field trip.

Instead of visiting a museum or watching a performance, about 100 students from Seattle's Garfield High School on Tuesday traveled to the Elliott Bay Book Co. Each teenager had a $50 gift card, their money maximized thanks to a 20 percent store discount. They had to follow just one instruction: buy whatever books they wanted.

English teacher Adam Gish believes in the power of reading, telling The Seattle Times it "can humanize us and help us, especially at this age, discover our identities because we discover that other people go through the same thing." While in the classroom several years ago, Gish discovered that many of his students had never been inside a bookstore before. As a special reward, he would take a few every year to Elliot Bay Book Co. and let them choose a book, but it was too expensive for him to take all of his students.

Now, thanks to a private donor, Gish can bring dozens of ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders to the bookstore. Students have to apply by writing a letter, and some shared that their families can't afford books, while others said reading has helped them expand their minds. "A new book is a novelty, a hardcover novel almost unheard of ... it seems surreal and I would be honored to participate in this," one student wrote. This year, Gish let all of the students who wrote letters go on the field trip, where they picked up books like Becoming by Michelle Obama and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. After everyone checked out at the register, about 450 books were bought. Catherine Garcia

November 14, 2018

A Houston neighborhood is now home to 12 special murals that merge art with poetry.

The Gulfton neighborhood is one of the most diverse areas in Texas, with residents coming from more than 40 different countries and able to speak 80 languages, the Houston Chronicle reports. Many are immigrants, and Dr. Aisha Siddiqui created a nonprofit called Culture of Health — Advancing Together (CHAT) for those in need of a strong support system. "This land of opportunity is great but daunting for people," she said.

Art is "a universal language," Siddiqui said, and "helps make people take ownership of communities." To bring art to Gulfton, CHAT partnered with several other nonprofits and the mayor's office to launch the Gulfton Story Trail Mural Project. Community members were invited to write poems about the neighborhood, and Houston-area artists then selected their favorites and painted murals based on the poetry.

The colorful murals "make it more welcoming," Siddiqui said, and give people "the sense that someone cares for them." Artist Natalia Victoria painted a garden based on the poem "Ego For Thought" by local resident Emmanuel Nwaobi. "The poem was about the community working together to be a better community," Victoria told the Chronicle. "I thought that was inspiring and so important." Catherine Garcia

November 13, 2018

Persistence paid off for Benjamin Sinclair.

The Winston-Salem, North Carolina, resident has played the same lottery numbers for 27 years. He told Inside Edition he only buys a ticket when "the jackpot gets above a certain amount," and he purchased a Powerball ticket for the Oct. 27 drawing. When he checked the numbers, Sinclair couldn't believe it when he realized the numbers he had been playing for nearly three decades were a match for the night's drawing.

"I had to look at the numbers several times to make sure," he said. "It feels great to win." Because Sinclair did not have the winning Powerball number, his prize was $1 million. He chose to take the lump sum option, and walked away with a cool $705,0111. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

Nancy Abell tried to get Katharina Groene to turn back, but with just 150 miles to go on her solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, Groene wanted to see her adventure through.

Abell met Groene a few weeks ago in Washington state, after Groene had walked 2,500 miles northward from the Mexican border. She was nearing her end point at the Canadian border, but it was late in the season, and Abell was concerned because Groene didn't have snowshoes. "I told her, 'If you were my daughter, I wouldn't let you do this,'" Abell told CBS News.

She couldn't stop thinking about the German hiker, worrying about what was happening to her on the trail. When forecasters said to expect two feet of snow in the mountains, Abell quickly called the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office and explained that Groene might be in trouble. "I was really stressed out," she said. "I felt really compelled that I really needed to get help for her."

Even though Groene wasn't reported missing and did not send any distress signals, officers agreed to search the mountains, and soon found her — with frostbite. Rescuers said it's likely she would have died within a day, and Abell saved her life. Groene, who is staying with Abell for a few days before she goes home to Germany, told CBS News that one of the reasons why she went on the hike by herself is because she had lost her "faith in humanity." Thanks to Abell, she added, it's back in "a really big way." Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

Paul Wood and his doctors were all caught off guard when, the day before he was scheduled to have brain surgery, it was abruptly canceled due to a medical mystery.

Several months ago, the Lodi, California, resident was having excruciating headaches and difficulty walking. His doctor sent him to a neurosurgeon, who thought Wood was perhaps suffering from a brain bleed, but a radiologist spotted signs of a tumor. Surgery was scheduled, but when he went to see the doctor for a pre-op appointment, the suspected tumor was gone.

It was "a miracle," Wood told CBS Sacramento. Specialists do not know why the tumor disappeared without treatment, with Woods' physician, Dr. Richard Yee, saying doctors "do tests and we have medical technology and we try to come up with some conclusion ... sometimes things happen that we can't explain." Wood turned to his church for support, and said he appreciated all of the prayers he received from "all over California." He also told CBS Sacramento doctors want to take a closer look at his case, and have asked him to volunteer for a research study. Catherine Garcia

November 9, 2018

After spending five months deployed in Africa, Joshua Splinter found out he was going to get to return to the United States early, and thought the perfect homecoming should involve surprising his wife.

Alice Splinter is a pediatrician, and Joshua, a family physician for the Texas Army National Guard, had a friend set up an appointment, using a fake name. When Alice entered the exam room, she expected to see a new face, but instead saw a familiar one. "It took a second for me to take it in," she told Inside Edition. "I honestly almost passed out."

While Joshua was deployed, Alice moved their family to a new town so she could start her residency. "She was really just holding everything together while I was just out, you know, having fun," he said. After he came home but before he saw his wife, Joshua made sure to pretend he was still in another time zone, afraid he might tip her off. He didn't though, and ended up pulling "a great surprise," Alice said. "I'm happy to have him home." Catherine Garcia

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