Marathon Bombing Survivor Weds Her Hero: 5 Brilliant Stories
Plus, a woman seeking a soldier finds her family instead
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2017 5:30 AM CST
In this March 18, 2014, file photo, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Roseann Sdoia walks with Boston firefighter Mike Materia after her doctor's appointment in Newton, Mass.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

(Newser) – A very special wedding and many kind strangers make this week's list of uplifting stories:

  • Firefighter to Marry Marathon Bombing Survivor He Saved: Roseann Sdoia was a spectator near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013 when the bombs went off. Firefighter Mike Materia was the first responder who came to her aid, and she survived despite the need to have one of her legs amputated. Sdoia's mom tried to set up the couple from the get-go, and four years later, wedding bells are ringing.
  • Mom Had Quadruplets Early to Start Chemo, Gets Big Help: In late December, a Kentucky woman who was 30 weeks pregnant with quadruplets delivered them early via C-section because of a grim diagnosis: her cancer was back. The quadruplets were already a miracle—and then another miracle happened, thanks to the kindness of strangers.
  • Fire Destroyed a Mosque. 20K People Chip in to Rebuild: After a South Texas mosque was destroyed by fire, a GoFundMe campaign to rebuild set an ambitious goal of $850,000. The incredible thing is how little time it took to reach that sum.

  • Woman Seeking Soldier Finds Siblings Half a World Away: Belgian woman Florence Heene, 71, who knew only that her father was a Canadian soldier named Herbert who had been stationed in Belgium during WWII. She found his photo in a box of her mother's things and shared it on Facebook recently in an effort to find out more about him—and ended up finding an entire family.
  • Her Water Broke En Route to New Life. She Told Nobody: Ibtesam Alkarnake's water broke while traveling from a refugee camp in Jordan to her new home in Canada. But the Syrian refugee told no one, not even her husband and four children. It was "brute determination on the mom's part to have the baby in Canada," says pastor Doug Doyle, who welcomed the family in Fort McMurray, Alberta, on Tuesday.
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