BALTIMORE (WJZ) – It's no secret that 2020 was a tough year for the Marylanders. The COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of people's daily lives, from the way people work and learn to the way they socialize and spend time with loved ones.
There were stories of heartbreak and loss, and love and survival. There were moments that brought us together and made us smile despite the adverse circumstances.
Here are ten of those moments.
1. Pierre Gibbons, man who ran into a burning house in SE Baltimore to save his hospitalized neighbor
Pierre Gibbon's heroism has been the subject of numerous stories about WJZ, but in June, more than nine months after he found himself in his neighbor's burning house in southeast Baltimore, he was discharged from the hospital and welcomed by a hero.
Gibbons struggled after only getting a 10% survival rate. His actions led to his being declared a hero.
His recovery continues.
2. Baltimore comes together to remember Mo Gaba
Long-time listeners to 105.7 The Fan quickly fell in love with young sports superfan Mo Gaba. His knowledge of the ravens and orioles made him a prime caller, and his spirit won hearts in Baltimore and beyond despite the odds.
Unfortunately, Mo died in July at the age of 14 after his fourth battle with cancer. Before he died, he set a number of records including being elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame as the second recipient of the Wild Bill Hagy Award and the first person to post an NFL draft pick while reading it in Braille.
After his death, the community showed their love for him and his family by filling the M&T Bank Stadium with cardboard clippings of him and renaming a street near the stadiums.
His legacy will certainly not be forgotten anytime soon.
REMINDER OF MO GABA:
3. Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini quits chemotherapy after diagnosed with colon cancer
In March, Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. He started chemotherapy, which he completed six months later.
His teammates had their backs the whole time, surprising him with a video message of support and, after he finished chemotherapy, a team photo with words of encouragement.
4. DJ Kopec's virtual dance parties
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the entertainment and tourism industries particularly hard. Major events of all kinds have been canceled for the foreseeable future.
That didn't stop a Ellicott City man from doing what he loves while helping countless others in his community.
In March, WJZ first told the story of Chris Kopec, a part-time DJ and father of three, who turned to Facebook Live to host virtual dance parties. Realizing how big the audience was, he turned the events into fundraisers.
Since then, he has raised more than $ 1 million for charity and hosted events to benefit the United Way and Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital.
During that holiday season, he collected more than 29,000 toys to give to children in need.
"Music has always brought people together," he told WJZ in November.
5. Teen uses training flights to deliver PPE to hospitals
A teenage pilot and aspiring pilot decided to use his training flights to provide personal protective equipment to rural hospitals in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
T.J. Kim's efforts caught the attention of President Donald Trump, who honored Kim at a ceremony at the White House.
By September, Kim had completed 17 missions and delivered 58,000 items to hospitals in need.
6. American flag found along Interstate 83 returned to grateful owner
In June, Eileen Snyder was driving an American flag down Interstate 83 in Baltimore to honor her mother's longtime friend, World War II veteran Harry Moftich, when the flag somehow disappeared from her trunk and landed on the curb.
It ended up in Tamara Morris' hands and thanks to the internet, Morris was able to find and return Snyder.
READ: An American flag honoring a WWII veterinarian was found on the side of I-83, but a Facebook post brought it home
7. Servers receive 4-digit tips
Servers have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and indoor and outdoor eating restrictions, but some generous customers have made it their business to spread some joy.
In March, a customer at Mount Airy Inn left a tip of $ 1,000 on an order over $ 68 as restaurants were due to close due to the pandemic.
In December, a regular at Evelyn's Annapolis restaurant left an even bigger tip: $ 2,020! It came the weekend before stricter rules for restaurants in the county went into effect.
These rules were ultimately temporarily blocked by a judge.
8. Wino Dog delivers wine to customers at the Maryland winery
A very good dog, appropriately named Soda, turned into some sort of alcohol runner at a Maryland winery in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When customers were not allowed to enter the Stone House Urban Winery in Hagerstown, Soda delivered a special bag of wine to customers waiting outside the winery.
READ: Truly Man's Best Friend, "Wino Dog" Delivers Wine to Customers at Maryland Winery
9. John Krasinski officiates the Maryland couple's wedding via Zoom with "The Office" as guests
One thing a lot of people did during the pandemic was binge episodes of "The Office" on Netflix. However, a Maryland couple basically had to be in their own episode.
John Krasinski, who played Jim on the hit show, helped the couple, John and Susan, get married through Zoom.
They were joined by some special guests: members of the show's cast.
READ: John Krasinski hosts the Maryland couple's wedding through Zoom with "The Office" as guests
10. Triumph over COVID-19
There have been countless stories of heartache and loss due to the pandemic, but also stories of triumph and survival.
One of these survival stories was Vivian Myers, then 104, a resident of the badly affected Carroll Luthern Village care home in Westminster.
Janitors said Myers' persistent spirit helped her beat the virus.
Another survival story occurred in October. Annapolis-born Claudia Solorzano, 35, survived a battle with COVID-19 that took her to the hospital for one night.
When she was released, Anne Arundel Medical Center staff formed a gossip line to celebrate. She was the 1,000th COVID-19 patient discharged from the facility.
Months earlier, Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital staff formed a human tunnel to celebrate how their 100th recovered COVID-19 patient was discharged.
Bonus: A WJZ baby boom
The WJZ family grew rapidly in the final months of the year, and a number of employees on the air and behind the scenes welcomed new bundles of joy.
Among them were: