Although everyone has a notion of what a hero means to them, perhaps not everyone makes a connection to the phrase ‘silent hero’. This phrase certainly won’t conjure up images of veterinary medicine and wildlife conservation in action. At least not yet, that is…hopefully in time Silent Heroes Foundation will pave the way and allow for people to identify with the everyday heroes I had in mind when I created this charity. Silent Heroes was born as a true lightbulb idea for me, as I was daydreaming and searching for a way to reconnect to that part of myself I identify so strongly with, as a veterinarian and wildlife conservationist. The name Silent Heroes Foundation was the first, and practically only name I ever considered as I formed this nonprofit, and it was definitely the one I kept coming back to as I tried on different names for us. So who are these Silent Heroes I honor?
First and foremost, I honor those in my field who stand on the front lines of veterinary medicine, day in and day out, with little pay, little recognition, and little thanks for what they do. Yet these people have huge hearts, true dedication, and an amazing wealth of knowledge and experience to take them to the front lines of such hard work. I wish to recognize, pay homage to, and support my fellow veterinarians who do amazing things every day to help animals who have no voice. Make no bones about it, this work is hard. It is not glamorous, nor is it always heartwarming, and often it does not have a happy ending that we all wish to see. Not everyone can stand on the front lines and be that doc in the field, tending to an injured chimpanzee, or transporting the elephant calf to a safe haven. But everyone can stand in support of these silent heroes who dedicate their lives to better the wildlife world. These are my silent heroes.
There are other silent heroes I wish to honor through this Foundation. Each and every person who contributes to support our projects in the field are heroes to me. Our success won’t be possible without you standing behind us along the way I hope to honor the silent heroes who donate their own supplies, their own money, or their own time to help support the causes we believe in. By donating to charity you are not looking for recognition, yet you deserve thanks and honor for your contributions.
Being a lifelong animal lover, I also hold a special place in my heart for all species, with an exceptional place for wildlife in particular. From a young age Africa called to me; I see such beauty and strength in its wildlife. I honor the silent heroes in the animal world who struggle to survive, unfortunately often due to human-related pressures. They deserve to keep their place in this world, and I hope to help in the fight to keep it for them.
And finally, I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the silent heroes in my own personal life who stood beside me, cheering me on as I walked my own path in the world. My grandparents and parents are heroes to me for putting in years of hard work so that I could have the privilege of getting an education and pursuing my dreams. Instead of telling me no when I proclaimed I was going to Africa at the young age of 18, they encouraged me and believed in me, and that made all the difference in my life. I honor my family as silent heroes who recognized the importance of allowing me to follow my heart, as this is how one can truly make a difference in the world.
As I take on this new endeavor, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to make a difference in the world of veterinary medicine and wildlife conservation. Thank you all for supporting Silent Heroes. I am honored to have you in my life.