Gaby Bryan is acutely aware of the preciousness and brevity of life. Recovering from colon cancer, and most recently losing her brother to cancer, Gaby’s outlook is one of determination and incredible selflessness. With a passion for the plight of the endangered rhino, Gaby has covered 550km of an 1800km walk around Germany to fight for the survival of one of the worlds most gentle and prehistoric animals, and to fight for her own life.
Every 11 hours a rhino is poached and killed. For their horn. Prized for a myriad of mythical medicinal properties and mana as a carved object, the slaughter is driven by demand, based on centuries of folklore. Made of mostly keratin, it delivers similar benefits to chewing your own fingernails. But the myth seems to grow stronger, and along with it, demand. Valued at around the same price as gold, poachers in South Africa can afford to go high-tech, using helicopters, silencers, and night-vision goggles to meet the demand from East Asia, particularly Vietnam. As at mid June this year, 437 had been killed, around 100 in the last month alone, with a shameful end of year projection heading north of 900.
In Gaby’s words, “The chances for survival for both of us depends on many things, but hope prevails in my heart. Hope that my lifestyle, my beliefs, and my determination will conquer cancer, and hope that the myth of Rhino-horn having special properties will be finally dismissed, as this view is borne out of superstition and misunderstanding.”
Overcoming debilitating foot pain, Gaby gets up every day and continues her mission. She welcomes company on her walk and is worthy of every support we can manage as an audience, in her goal to reach $50000 for the Save Foundation, a leader in rhino conservation and protection.
Feeling comfortable? If you cannot make it to Germany, undertake your own walk to raise funds, donate, or at least learn a bit more about the plight of the rhino. I want to write about the incredible list of qualities Gaby possesses, her generosity, positivity, tenacity, her warmth, and ability to encourage others while she embraces physical and mental challenges, and how she lights up a room. But Gaby would rather I talked about rhinos.
Let’s give Gaby strength.
Donate securely to Gaby Walks for Rhinos (donations go to the Save Foundation but Gaby can track them if you donate here)
Subscribe to Gaby’s blog at GabyWalksForRhinos
Follow her on Facebook and get to see awesome photos of her feet
Learn about The Save African Rhino Foundation
Read this, get mad, and act Vietnam’s appetite for rhino horn