Hidden Heroes

Jeremy - apache junction, Arizona
Entered on May 4, 2009

I believe in heroes. I believe that everyone has the potential to be a hero and that heroes are everywhere around me and most of the time I never notice they are there. There are the heroes that everyone thinks about, the police, firemen and soldiers that put their lives on the line to protect and save others. Yet there are heroes that I rarely thought about growing up, like the frazzled single mother working two jobs to give her children a better life.

Growing up I looked forward to my summer Saturdays, it was not just a chance to see my grandmother; it was an opportunity to read her old comic books. It was in those old and battered comic books, surrounded by that indescribably smell of “old people” mingling with freshly cut grass, which gave me my first inkling about heroes. I never knew it then, reading about Captain America, Superman and others, but there were people all around me that had been heroes to me and I never noticed it.

When I was two years old I suffered a tragic lawn mower accident that left my right root horribly mangled. Living in a rural area all the local doctors had the same diagnoses, amputation. However one told my father about a Dr. Allen van Beek, in Springfield IL, who might be able to help. My parents had a choice, chance an unknown doctor or amputate my foot. My father told me that it was never a choice for him. He said to me “If there was a chance someone could save your foot…” I don’t think I ever heard my father finish that sentence.

Dr van Beek was a former aviation surgeon turned microsurgery specialist who spent over eight hours under a microscope piecing together the remains of my foot. All because he thought he could give a two year old child the chance to keep his foot. Every time I see my foot today I know that Dr. van Beek is a hero

Even my fiancé, Heather, has been my hero when she saved my life once. In 2005 I discovered I was diabetic the hard way. I assumed it was just the flu, even after Heather found me passed out on the bathroom floor twitching. However she wouldn’t listen to me or give in to my stubbornness until I went to the E.R. My blood sugar was about 400 and I had suffered a diabetic seizure and was in risk of possible diabetic coma if I had not come into the hospital when I did.

I believe in heroes because I know they are out there. There may not be Thor or Superman ready to swoop in and save the world but there are still heroes. Regular everyday people living their lives, waiting for the moment when they make that one choice that turns them into heroes, wither they know it or not.