Special Report

Biggest Heroes of the Year

Source: Courtesy of Coast Guard Station Brunswick

16. Coast Guard Station Brunswick

A Korean cargo ship, the Golden Ray, was disembarking from Brunswick, Georgia around 2 a.m. one September Sunday morning, on its way to Baltimore, when disaster struck. The boat began to sink. Soon after, 20 of the 24 crew had been rescued, but a fire on the sinking ship prevented any further rescue efforts. Fortunately, after more than a day, when they could finally approach the ship, Coast Guard rescuers heard tapping coming from inside. They cut a hole into the ship’s metal hull and rescued the four remaining crew members alive and well.

Source: Courtesy of World of Children

17. Grace Callwood

Maryland native Grace Gallwood demonstrated her selflessness time and again as a young child by organizing fundraisers for food banks and children’s hospitals. At age seven, Callwood was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

After her diagnosis, Callwood founded The We Cancerve Movement to help sick, homeless, and foster children. The organization has led to numerous spin-off causes and has helped over 14,000 children to date. For her hard work, Callwood was awarded the 2019 Youth Award by World of Children, a nonprofit that focuses on children’s issues like education, health, safety, and human rights. Now Grace is 15, cancer free, and starting high school.

Source: Courtesy of Chandler Police Department

18. Officer Aaron Little

Police officers are trusted with keeping us safe — from criminals, different dangers, and sometimes from ourselves. Officer Aaron Little of the Chandler Police Department came across a man who had climbed over the guard rail of a Phoenix, Arizona, overpass with the intention of jumping. Officer Little began trying to coax the man off the ledge, offering him compassion and a hug. Eventually, after a few minutes, the man climbed back onto the walkway and into Officer Little’s arms.

Source: Kid's Rights / Wikimedia Commons

19. Michaela Mycroft

Michaela Mycroft was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was less than a year old. Instead of letting her disability hold her back, the 24-year-old is working to make the world a better place for other people who face mobility challenges. Mycroft co-founded the Chaeli Campaign, which aims to make South Africa a more accessible and accepting place for those with special mobility needs. Advocacy group World of Children recently named Mycroft one of its Hero Award Honorees.

Source: Courtesy of Salisbury Police

20. Andrew Lunn

Andrew Lunn is one of several good Samaritans to rank among the biggest heroes of 2019. About to begin his shift at a rehabilitation center, 52-year-old Lunn watched as a motorist accidentally reversed his car into the Wicomico River. He quickly told nearby colleagues to gather life preservers and dial 911. When it became clear that law enforcement would not arrive on time, Lunn instructed the driver to remain calm and unbuckle his seatbelt. He then proceeded to jump into the river with a life preserver and pull the injured driver out of his car.