Christmastime evokes feelings of warmth and comfort, and it is often referred to as the "season of giving." The following stories showcase the true power of Christmas. They have examples of selfless giving and even some unexplainable Christmas miracles.
Marko Dutschak of Austria was due for a Christmas miracle. In 2008, a cyst had formed on the 7-year-old's back. Doctors said it caused his spine to be as thin as a thread, which left Marko paralyzed from the chest down. Doctors predicted that Marko would have to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. However, the week before Christmas, Marko's mother found him walking along the balcony of his hospital room. Marko's recovery was a Christmas miracle that doctors could have never anticipated.
"Good Morning America" featured an inspiring story in 2011 that proved just how easily the holidays can persuade a complete stranger to answer the plea of a struggling child. Julie Sanders of Laytonville, California, and her son came across a letter from 5-year-old Helen Berence Reyes Cardenas. Helen's letter was a modest request sent to Santa for a doll, clothes and a pair of boots. Helen's mother had told her that she would not be able to afford much for the family that year for Christmas and helped Helen send a letter to Santa at the North Pole by balloon. Impressed by the thoughtful message sent by Helen, which lacked the common materialistic requests one might see made by other children Helen's age, Sanders decided to do something to help the struggling family. She managed to track down the family, who lived approximately 676 miles away, and chose to buy Helen clothes and toys and sent them via overnight mail so that Helen's family had time to put them under the Christmas tree. Sanders explains that she was particularly inspired to make the gesture when she realized that the letter was dated Dec. 2, which is the birthday of her brother who had passed away a few years prior, proving that even pain can inspire happiness during a time like Christmas.
Lately, it seems as if more and more stories have been released about women going into labor when they had no clue that they were pregnant. There's even a television show called "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," which displays the surprise that women are met with when they are told that they are about to deliver a baby after nine months of unnoticeable or misinterpreted pregnancy-related symptoms. Twenty-one-year-old Leanne Carter experienced such an event when she was hospitalized on Christmas Day after complaining of intense stomach pains. Hospital staff ran tests and quickly realized that the reason for Leanne's pain was that she was in labor. Hours later, she gave birth to a healthy baby, whom she considers her very own Christmas Day miracle.
An impending foreclosure is certainly not the way any family would like to ring in the holiday season. For Daniel and Ebony Sampson, the parents of two young children, this is the type of Christmas that they faced. They were informed that their house would be foreclosed on if they couldn't come up with $10,000 to bring their mortgage current. Ebony Sampson had purchased the house with life insurance money that she received from her parents' death. She was the sole survivor of a car crash that killed her entire family when she was in 10th grade. As if Ebony had not experienced enough tragedy in her life, she was about to lose the home she had purchased, which was close to where she grew up with her family. After experiencing a bad case of salmonella poisoning, Daniel was let go from his new job, and Ebony, also unemployed, soon found out she was pregnant. Not expecting much, their friend Jaki Grier posted the Sampsons' story on her blog with a donation link. To the shock of the Sampsons and Grier, just five days later, strangers from all around the world who were inspired by the hardship of the struggling family had donated $11,032. This was enough to save the Sampsons' house from foreclosure. The efforts of one friend and several strangers hoping to give a little Christmas cheer became a story of a Christmas miracle that the Sampsons plan on telling their children for years to come.