She is known in Indonesia, where she has helped thousands of poor women have healthy pregnancies and births, as “Mother Robin” She lost her sister in childbirth, a close friend in childbirth. So she decided to do something about it. Something big. She became a midwife, closed up her house in Hawaii, and set up a health clinic in an area of Indonesia where women couldn't afford prenatal care and had staggeringly high rates of death in childbirth. She wanted to change things, and she did. That's her story. In brief.
Her real name is Robin Lim, and on Sunday night in Los Angeles she was named the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year. Christy Burns Turlington, who has done a thing or two herself to advance maternal health, gave Lim her award.
There were other stars at the Shrine Auditorium, too. Anderson Cooper hosted. Miley Cyrus sang. But the real star of the evening was Lim. She had tears in her eyes when she came on stage to receive her award. She seemed overwhelmed, like she couldn't believe she was there. Here is part of what she said:
Every baby's first breath on Earth could be one of peace and love. Every mother should be healthy and strong. Every birth could be safe and loving. But our world is not there yet.
But it is a little closer because of Lim.
I have my own list of heroes, of women I admire, whose important work on behalf of women and girls continually moves and inspires me. Who are your heroes?
Credit Image: uusc4all on Flickr
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