Peter "Awilo" Kithene

Acceptance Address for the CNN Heroes "Medical Marvel" Award

CNN Air Date 9 December 2007

  click for pdf


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio.]

  Wow. This is mind-blowing.

I want to thank so very much the people I grew up with in Kenya, both living and gone. They taught me so much and have shaped my life.

I also want to thank my parents, who, regardless of not having any formal education, encouraged me to pursue education.

And to all those living and suffering in Africa, I say: "mbarikiwe"1

I want to thank Stacey and Larry Crites, who have helped me ever since I was in grade eight. Thank you so much.

I want to thank the University of Washington.

And I want to give special thanks to the late Dr. Geoffrey Griffin. I truly promise to fulfill Dr. -- Dr. Griffin's mission to uplift the weak and help the afflicted.

Finally, I want to thank my late mother-in-law, Elaine Haynes, who just passed this last Saturday. She lived to be very proud of me. Despite of unstable health, Elaine was with me in Africa when I opened this clinic. She continued to support me until the last minute of her life. She would have loved to be here today, but I'm sure she's watching over, just as she used to say of my family members who didn't make it.

Thank you so very much, my wife, Katrina, who nominated me for this award. I wouldn't have done it without you.

Thank you, Simba, my son, for being such an easy baby, and letting me do this extra work.

And thank you to my board of directors, donors, and volunteers.

To those living in dire need in Africa, and other parts of the world, I say, the world is watching over.

Hang in there.

Do not give up.

Love and support one another.

Thank you.

1 Swahili for "Blessed" or "Blessings"; common Kenyan term used used in reference to the dearly departed.

Also in this database: Peter Kithene's Address at the University of Washington

Please Visit: Mama Maria Kenya Facebook Site  and Mama Maria Hospital and Clinic

Audio and Image #1 Source:

Image #2 Source: (not live)

Backing Music: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Track: "From Western Woods to Beaversdam," Original Score by Harry Gregson-Williams. Edited and remixed for this speech by Michael E. Eidenmuller.

Page Updated: 1/15/21

U.S. Copyright Status: Text and Audio = Restricted, seek permission. Images = Uncertain.

Top 100 American Speeches

Online Speech Bank

Copyright 2001-Present. 
American Rhetoric.
HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.