Best of 2009

Richie Igama, a certified nursing assistant, gently cradles Austin Rustrum, 4, during a pool therapy session at the George Mark Children's House in San Leandro. Austin, suffering from cerebral palsy, epilepsy and a rare birth defect, was visiting the hospice for respite care. The facility was in danger of closing as the economy took a toll on donations, which it relies on to meet expenses.
Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times
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