Beau Ward and his parents.

Top 3 inspirational stories of 2015 | Year in Review

Every year there are stories of communities coming together in the face of insurmountable challenges or devastating losses only to come out stronger than ever on the other side. They may not always make it to the larger newspapers or news stations, but these life-changing events define a community even more than a bridge closure or an empty lake.

Every year there are stories of communities coming together in the face of insurmountable challenges or devastating losses only to come out stronger than ever on the other side.

They may not always make it to the larger newspapers or news stations, but these life-changing events define a community even more than a bridge closure or an empty lake.

1. Beau Ward

Ten year old Beau Ward and his friend Carter were burned in a gasoline fire May 22.

More than 60 percent of Beau’s body suffered burns, and he underwent multiple surgeries while he stayed in the hospital until the middle of August.

When he was able to return home, the Enumclaw community (wearing pink, Beau’s favorite color) celebrated alongside the Enumclaw Fire Department and Enumclaw High School with a parade through the city.

The Go Fund Me for Beau raised more than its goal of $30,000, all of which went towards Beau’s recovery.

(Photo: Beau Ward and his parents. Photo by Maryn Otto)

2. Tony Ryan

Enucmlaw police Sgt. Tony Ryan’s cancer fight started out as a small bump on his finger.

In the span of seven months, the small sarcoma turned into cancerous masses in both his left and right wrists, leaving Ryan in constant pain as he began to lose function in his fingers.

He was not expected to survive.

But after three surgeries, the cancer stopped growing, and eventually, he was 100 percent cancer free.

Ryan returned to the force with full use of his hands a few months later, saying he was glad for the support he received from his family and friends and the fact that he’d been given a second chance.

(Photo: Tony Ryan with his wife Kari and daughters Allie, right, and Jessica, left.)

3. Greg Goral

Unfortunately, not all cancer fights end with a good diagnosis.

Black Diamond police Cmdr. Greg Goral died Aug. 16 after a three year battle with appendiceal cancer, or a cancer of the appendix, an extremely rare cancer that accounts for less than 1 percent of all cancer cases.

The Black Diamond and Enumclaw communities gathered to support Goral at the annual Boots and Badges basketball game on April 12, but they weren’t the only ones Goral’s story resounded all around the state as donations came in from as far as Ocean Shores and Yakima to support his fight.

(Photo: Greg Goral dribbles down the court during the 2010 Boots and Badges game. Courtesy Sgt. Brian Lynch)

Honorable Mention: Black Diamond cops do good deed

Sergeants Brian Martinez and Brian Lynch of the Black Diamond Police Department went above and beyond the call of duty when they responded to a domestic violence call in late September.

The victim, a woman from outside of town, did not have any of her belongings or any money, and all of the nearby shelters were full for the night.

So the officers called the Enumclaw Cedar Inn and booked her a room for the night, with the Inn kicking in half the cost.

The story was sent to the Courier-Herald through Facebook by a reader.

“I can tell you that as the chief this is the stuff that makes you most proud,” Black Diamond Police Chief Jamey Kiblinger said. “It’s what our officers do when nobody is looking that you can see their character and selflessness.”

 

More in News

Taxing district was independent, now part of city government

In a move that was philosophically opposed by a pair of council members, the city of Enumclaw has taken control of the local Transportation Benefit District. The move may not be noticeable to the general public, as the collection and distribution of money should be unchanged. Also, the people controlling the dollars and cents remain the same.

Wilbanks wins close Buckley race

It took a month, but Luke Wilbanks finally knows he’ll be occupying a seat on the Buckley City Council.

Smooth holiday travel requires planning, patience | Department of Transportation

No matter what your holiday plans, being prepared for winter conditions and holiday traffic will help make your trip smoother. The Washington State Department of Transportation urges all travelers to “know before you go” and plan ahead for smoother travel.

Pierce County burn ban lifted | Puget Sound Clean Air Agency Update

The weather may be getting colder, but burn bans have been called for multiple counties due to deteriorating air quality.

Local authors publish their first novels

Sometimes, you just can’t get an idea out of your head. For two local authors, this certainly has been the case. Since they were kids, James Peet of Enumclaw and Tommy Rice of Bonney Lake had some ideas in their heads, ones that never quite left them, even as they grew older, got jobs, and settled down with their wives and kids of their own.

Scammers posing as the State Supreme Court Clerk | Office of the Attorney General

Scammers are posing as the Washington State Supreme Court Clerk to call Washingtonians to demand money and threaten arrest. The fraudulent calls have so far targeted individuals with Hispanic last names.

Enumclaw’s Van Hulse to compete in national music showcase

Erik Van Hulse, who also goes by his stage name Siboh Nisoh, has been working toward this big break for almost as long as he can remember.

Kiwanis honor four as Students of the Month

Members of the Buckley Kiwanis Club honored a trio of “Students of the Month” during an Nov. 16 gathering.

Pepper addresses ‘false’ recall charges in community meeting

The meeting, held at the Black Diamond library, was a chance for voters to have “an opportunity to hear from both sides before they decide to sign,” the recall petition, Pepper wrote in an announcement for the meeting.

Most Read