Touching tales of triumph and tragedy tug at hearts
COURAGEOUS kids, hopeless romantics, tragic losses and the triumphant.
They were not always the biggest headlines but the stories that often stuck with readers long after they closed the pages of the paper were the ones about people, just like them.
Readers followed Bella Harry's story throughout the year.
Bella, 11, of Bli Bli was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in January after bumping her knee.
The diagnosis turned life upside down for her family.
While her mother, Emma, stayed by her side, her father looked after her two younger brothers.
Friends, family and sporting groups rallied to raise money to help the family.
Fundraisers included a gala night at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort in March.
Bella was given a boost when she got to meet actor Johnny Depp when he visited the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane while in Australia filming a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
After 35 weeks of chemotherapy, surgery to replace her femur with a titanium rod, six weeks of radiation treatment and months away from friends, Bella was discharged from hospital in Brisbane in November.
She had her first day back on the Coast with her family on November 19.
Although she still has to have physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, Bella was pleased at the prospect of doing all the normal things she used to do.
"Taking the boys to school, going in the pool, everything really," she said.
Anthony Campbell probably earned the rights to the title of the Coast's most romantic man when he surprised his partner, Lilli Schall, with not only a proposal but a wedding.
In a two-part proposal which he sprung on her at Cotton Tree on Sunday, October 18, he not only asked her to marry him but also asked if she would marry him three days later on the Wednesday.
Although the proposal and wedding came upon Lilli suddenly, Anthony had been hatching the plan for months.
The idea to spring a surprise wedding on Lilli along with a surprise proposal came to him when contemplating how to have her German parents present for both.
So he started planning the wedding, sending out invitations, booking a celebrant and Lilli's hair and make-up appointments.
He even lined up his mother to buy three wedding dresses from which Lilli could choose.
He sneakily also had Lilli help build timber tables for their backyard reception under the guise that they were for a friend.
Fortunately, Lilli said yes to not only his proposal but the wedding.
"How much effort he put in is unbelievable," she said before the ceremony.
They were joined by 42 family and friends at their Bli Bli home for the wedding and celebration.
The destruction of a Cooroy paramedic's home by fire on Friday, August 14, brought out the best in the community.
Suzette Dakin took her son, Cole, 11, to school that morning and arrived home 30 minutes later to see smoke billowing from the roof.
They lost virtually everything in the blaze, even Mrs Dakin's spectacles.
Although the home was insured, photographs and other personal items collected over a lifetime were irreplaceable.
A friend took her, Cole and her father and his partner in until they could sort out alternative accommodation through the insurance company.
Friends started a fundraising account to support the family and her Maroochydore Ambulance Station colleagues put on a barbecue lunch to welcome her back to work when she was ready.
The North Arm and Yandina communities were rocked by the death of Kristi Kafcaloudis in early September.
The former North Arm State School student, whose parents are still involved with the Yandina community, died in a cliff fall while hiking in Norway.
The 24-year-old had been studying at the University of Bergen on an international exchange from Monash University in Melbourne and was on a weekend hiking adventure.
Her parents, Michael and Milli, handled the loss and resultant media attention with quiet dignity.
They released a statement through a family friend.
"We are only consoled by the fact that Kristi was doing what she loved with her friends and living a life full of adventure and dreams - but we are mortified by the loss of such a talented and lovely young woman with her whole life before her.
"She was quite simply exceptional to us and to her many friends and will remain in our hearts and minds to encourage us to make the best of our lives and reach out to others."
A former Sunshine Coast mum diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with her second child lost her battle with the illness.
Christina Moon died on October 4 after a two-year fight against aggressive colon and liver cancer.
She had been 21 weeks pregnant with a second child when diagnosed but lost the baby at 33 weeks after commencing treatment.
Some good luck came her way when she won a wedding package in a competition.
The win allowed her to wed her fiancé, Nathan Moon.
He said Christina had accepted she would not see old age but had been determined to live life to the full.
"She tried new things. She wasn't afraid of cancer bothering her or restricting the things she could do," he said.
"She was ticking things off on her bucket list.
"She went back to the gym, she went on shopping sprees, trips away - the things she wouldn't normally do."
After caring for his wife, Nathan will now concentrate on caring for and raising their son Blair, 3, who has health difficulties.