From beating cancer to solving Rubik's Cubes: Here are your top moments of 2020

People across Wales have been sharing their best moments of the year, including running a marathon, giving birth and rescuing an abandoned dog.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives of everyone in Wales, with thousands of families facing financial, physical and emotional hardship.

But 2020 has also seen some amazing moments of resilience, togetherness and optimism.

ITV Wales viewers have shared some of their highlights of the year.

Lucas was born at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in November. Credit: Lizzie Brewster
  • Giving birth in the middle of a pandemic

Many families shared news of the birth of their child or grandchild.

Lizzie Brewster, from Cwmbran, gave birth to her son, Lucas, at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in November.

She had been concerned about catching the virus while in hospital, being without her partner during birth, and not being able to access support during lockdown.

"Everything was in place to keep me and my baby safe when he arrived," she said.

"All of the hospital staff made you feel at ease and I was lucky enough that my partner was able to come into the labour ward with me as soon as they established I was in advanced labour and he only had to wait outside for 40 minutes.

Lizzie wants to provide reassurance to other women who are feeling anxious about giving birth."My whole experience has been positive and I would like to thank all the midwives at Royal Glamorgan Hospital and the community midwife when she helped me at home. I'm know enjoying my baby boy."

Paul and Jolene Dalton said rescuing Bryn the dog from Cyprus was their highlight of their 2020. Credit: Jolene Dalton
  • Rescuing an abandoned dog

A couple from Abertillery said their best moment of 2020 was rescuing an abandoned dog from Cyprus.

Jolene and Paul Dalton rehomed Bryn during the first lockdown, after he had been abandoned as a hunting dog.

"Bryn spent last Christmas in a kennels in Cyprus so this is his first proper Christmas," Jolene said.

"He was supposed to be on foster, but he's so adorable that I couldn't let him go!"

Michelle Pearce, from Ebbw Vale, mastered a new skill during lockdown. Credit: Michelle Pearce
  • Completing a Rubik's Cube

For some people, lockdowns have been a time to develop a new skill, such as learning a new language or baking.

Michelle Pearce, from Ebbw Vale, wanted to spend the lockdown productively, so compiled a list of skills she had always wanted to learn but never usually had the time.

"The Rubik's Cube was my first challenge," she said.

"I did some research online about the various algorithms used to complete it, chose one and just practiced, practiced, practiced!

"It was slightly addictive... I’d sit at night after I’d put the kids to bed and while away the hours doing that rather than watching TV.

"It was such an achievement when I finally did it - it was like a personal marathon. I even showed my London-based sister the steps to complete it over FaceTime! She can also complete one now."

Jemima Williams' brother, from Barry, rang a homemade bell when he finished his cancer treatment. Credit: Jemima Williams
  • Beating cancer

For Jemima Williams, seeing her brother get the all-clear after a cancer diagnosis was the best thing that could have happened during 2020.

"When my brother finished his cancer treatment he couldn’t ‘ring the bell’ due to Covid-19 restrictions.

"His wife fixed a bell to the garden fence, and my brother rang the bell along with their little baby granddaughter. I cried buckets of joy!

"It's been a terrible year for everyone, but what a start to ours! Very scary, but hopefully he'll be okay."

Peter Gillibrand, from Cardiff, ran the virtual London Marathon. Credit: Peter Gillibrand
  • Running a marathon

In October, more than 36,000 people braved the rain to complete the first-ever virtual London Marathon.

Peter Gillibrand, from Cardiff, was inspired to run to raise money for Mencap, after being unable to see his autistic brother, who lives in a care home, for more than a year.

"We all pushed ourselves to be a beacon of light in such a dreadful year and raise hundreds of thousands for people with learning disabilities across Wales/UK," he said.

"I ran, virtually, alongside people with learning disabilities who wanted to prove people wrong - that they COULD run a marathon.

"I ran in a star costume around Cardiff to spread some cheer and joy and have really pushed my fitness this year.

"I hope, with testing for visitors/vaccines, I'll be able to get a very special Christmas present by giving my brother the gift of a hug when I go back to west Wales."

David Miller, from Pembroke, said losing five stone was the highlight of his year. Credit: David Miller
  • Embarking on a weight loss journey

During the first lockdown, people were restricted to an hour of outdoor exercise a day.

David Miller, from Pembroke, used that time as an opportunity to get fit and lose weight, shedding three stone.

"Going for a walk was fine and I enjoyed it, except there were lots of other people walking around which made me feel a little uncomfortable because of the pandemic and social distancing, so I decided to start cycling as I had a bicycle in my garage," he explained."I went from cycling thee to four miles to 10 miles, then 15 miles and now I'm up to 24 miles three times a week - with the odd 30 mile ride squeezed in!

"I now do a round trip from Pembroke to Tenby and back in a circle along the coast road. It's beautiful here and a little different from Caerphilly where I am originally from."