Autumn Lott at Gilman’s point, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. At seven years old, she’s the youngest Canadian to have ever summitted the infamous peak. (Francesca Lott photo)

Autumn Lott at Gilman’s point, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. At seven years old, she’s the youngest Canadian to have ever summitted the infamous peak. (Francesca Lott photo)

Good news stories from 2022 to reflect on in 2023

These British Columbians were lifting spirits across the province

In a year marked by the ongoing pandemic and opioid crisis, new wars and conflicts and everyday cost-of-living struggles, it was at times hard to see the good in 2022. But there was, in fact, plenty of it.

As we look forward, let’s take a quick look back. Here are some of the stories of resilience, kindness and inspiration we highlighted last year:

B.C. woman who beat breast cancer twice advocates for body positivity on Instagram

Tina Martel beat breast cancer twice and made the decision to undergo a double mastectomy.

She was deterred from getting implants because of the common occurrence of failure or implant rejection, as well as the need for more surgeries.

Instead, she opted for an aesthetic flat closure, which provides patients with a flat chest that has minimal scarring.

“I thought I’m just going to be what I am – I’m a flat woman. This is OK, it’s doable and I know lots of women who are doing this.” READ MORE

Tina Martel advocates for body positivity after she had a double mastectomy due to breast cancer. (Courtesy of Noelle Mirabella Photography)

Tina Martel advocates for body positivity after she had a double mastectomy due to breast cancer. (Courtesy of Noelle Mirabella Photography)

B.C. small town shows its ‘Frank Appreciation’ for popular garbage collector

The community of Ucluelet came together in September to show their local garbage collector just how much his work means to them. Frank Thomas Trodden said he’d heard something was being organized, but that he was stunned by just how many people laid out gifts for him along his route.

“I didn’t believe it was going to be a big deal and when the day arrived I was proven wrong. I had so many people showing me their appreciation with gifts or little notes or smiles and waves. It truly was a blessing day and I couldn’t have been more heart-filled.” READ MORE

Ucluelet garbageman Frank Thomas Trodden took this photo of some of the bounty he received during an appreciation day held in his honour to thank him for his hard work and positive attitude. (Photo courtesy of Frank Thomas Trodden)

Ucluelet garbageman Frank Thomas Trodden took this photo of some of the bounty he received during an appreciation day held in his honour to thank him for his hard work and positive attitude. (Photo courtesy of Frank Thomas Trodden)

B.C. girl celebrates her 7th birthday atop Mt. Kilimanjaro with her mom

Autumn Lott spent her seventh birthday virtually on top of the world.

Lott, from Gold River, B.C., became the youngest Canadian and second-youngest ever to reach the summit (5,895 metres) of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Hiking is a birthday tradition for Autumn and her mom, but last year was the first time they ever left Canada to mark the special day. READ MORE

Francesca and Autumn Lott at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. (Photo courtesy of Francesca Lott)

Francesca and Autumn Lott at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. (Photo courtesy of Francesca Lott)

Chilliwack’s mobility scooter ice cream man is making kids smile

All Darrell Ralph wants to do is to make kids smile and he’s doing exactly that.

The man behind Chilliwack’s Frankly Delicious Ice Cream said he was literally shivering with joy as he served a few kids popsicles at his cart at the Cheam Centre Park in July.

“I wanted to do this to make people smile and make people happy,” the 64-year-old said. READ MORE

Darrell Ralph and his Frankly Delicious Ice Cream cart he recently put together. The 64-year-old is making kids in Chilliwack happy with his cool treats on hot days. (Submitted photo)

Darrell Ralph and his Frankly Delicious Ice Cream cart he recently put together. The 64-year-old is making kids in Chilliwack happy with his cool treats on hot days. (Submitted photo)

Shuswap man defies odds when his tiny life raft found in Caribbean Sea

What was to be a sailing holiday for a Shuswap man morphed into a misadventure and a grueling test of survival skills.

With decades of sailing experience behind him, Don Cavers, 77, left Colombia solo in early December 2021, his intention to meet his son in Puerto Rico and spend the winter in the Caribbean islands on the way to Bermuda.

Colombia has no marine industry, however, so he had been unable to get anyone to inspect the sailboat he had purchased essentially sight unseen. On the second day of his fateful trip, he encountered four to four-and-a-half metre seas and the boat began taking on water. READ MORE

The life raft that Shuswap resident Don Cavers floated in in the Caribbean Sea for six days in mid-December 2021 before he was rescued by the crew of a bulk carrier. (Photo contributed)

The life raft that Shuswap resident Don Cavers floated in in the Caribbean Sea for six days in mid-December 2021 before he was rescued by the crew of a bulk carrier. (Photo contributed)

B.C. teen defeats brain bleed, cancer, works way back to graduate with his peers

Like many an 18-year-old, Keygan Power longs for a little more independence.

For the young Vancouver Island man, however, simply the ability to use two hands to manage life would go a long way.

But it could be worse.

Keygan was able to graduate from his Greater Victoria area high school alongside his peers in June, but only after overcoming not one, but two life-threatening ailments. READ MORE

Keygan Power graduates alongside his peers from Spectrum Community School in June 2022. (Photo courtesy of Allison Power)

Keygan Power graduates alongside his peers from Spectrum Community School in June 2022. (Photo courtesy of Allison Power)

‘Get out of this stinkin’ thinkin’: B.C. mouth-painter finds purpose in art

In March of 2018, Shawna Magnusson had a nightmare of a morning.

While walking across her living room floor to let her puppy out, Magnusson blacked out, and woke up staring at her ceiling.

She couldn’t move her arms and legs, and had to yell for her husband to come check on her. Magnusson never regained use of her limbs, but she did find something else to keep her active. READ MORE

Shawna Magnusson has surrounded herself with delightgully colourful paintings of her own creation. (Ronan O’Doherty/Campbell River Mirror)

Shawna Magnusson has surrounded herself with delightgully colourful paintings of her own creation. (Ronan O’Doherty/Campbell River Mirror)

B.C. TikTok creator goes viral pushing back against bullies online

A Victoria-based TikToker is getting attention for her videos on Pilates for people with disabilities and her willingness to fight back.

Norah Myers went from 4,000 to 81,000 followers in eight days. Two months later she had more than one million followers and now has 17 million likes.

A Pilates instructor with cerebral palsy, she uses social media tools to advance her work and promote the workout for people with disabilities. READ MORE

Norah Myers advocates Pilates as a beneficial exercise for people with disabilities. (Photo by Lucas Grosse)

Norah Myers advocates Pilates as a beneficial exercise for people with disabilities. (Photo by Lucas Grosse)

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