13 of 2017’s most inspiring, heartwarming stories


2017 was a tumultuous year by any standards.

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But despite a charged political environment, tragedy and sadness, there have been great stories of inspiration and hope. We covered many of them at ABC News and are proud of the joy and hope they brought of readers and viewers.

Of all the inspirational stories we reported, there are a few that stand out. We hope you enjoy revisiting them as much as we did.

In no particular order:

Twin sisters separated at birth reunite live on ‘GMA’

ABC NewsTwins Audrey Doering and Gracie Rainsberry, who were separated at birth, meet for the first time on “Good Morning America,” Jan 11, 2017.

Man’s T-shirt plea for kidney leads to live organ donor match

Robert LeibowitzRobert Leibowitz and his kidney donor Richie Sully in Times Square.

Mom dying of brain cancer pens heartbreaking letter to her young sons

Tess FollettSara Chivers, who has brain cancer, penned a goodbye letter to her sons that is being shared around the world.

Man serenades his 98-year-old grandma with ‘Unforgettable’ on her birthday

ABCNews.comVIDEO: Man serenades 98-year-old grandma with ‘Unforgettable’

Couple who met at a camp for kids with cancer marry many years later

Nicole Richardson/Sandprints Photography Caylee and Joey Renick were married in May 2017 in Florida. They met at a camp for kids with cancer and their siblings when they were 10 years old.

Teen with autism has 100 4-legged guests at pug birthday party

McKenna LittleAndrew Vaughan said the dogs made him “so happy.”

Dad runs Boston Marathon to honor unborn daughter with Down syndrome

Courtesy of Oliver and Kinnon FoleyOliver and Kinnon Foley of Charlestown, Massachusetts, pose with an ultrasound photo of their unborn daughter, Tenley.

Photo shoots capture experiences of families of terminally ill children

Katie Cartwright
The Tiny Sparrow Foundation arranged for a photo shoot of the Cummings family with photographer Katie Cartwright.

Girl with rare, severe face cancer sparks emotion in ‘hope’ photo campaign

Kirstin Boncher PhotographyThe cancer has led to severe facial abnormalities but has not dampened the girl’s spirit.

Grandmother with Alzheimer’s recalls childhood song while comforting newborn

Christine StoneSetsuko Harmon, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s eight years ago, spends time with her granddaughter, Sadie Mae Stone, born Oct. 11, 2017.

Homeless veteran who received over $360K now wants to pay it forward, ‘I just want to do the right thing’

ABC NewsHomeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt is pictured on Nov. 25, 2017 during an interview with “Good Morning America.”

6-year-old student uses lemonade stands to help pay off fellow students’ lunch debts

Rachel Van HillHayden Meadows Elementary School student Amiah Van Hill, 6, used lemonade stands to raise money to pay off fellow students’ lunch debts.

After man proposed marriage to his girlfriend, he proposed fatherhood to her daughter

Courtesy Mandi Gilliland PhotographyGrant Tribbett proposed to his girlfriend Cassandra Reschar and her 5-year-old daughter, Adrianna, on May 27, 2017.

Sourse: abcnews.go.com