Back in October, we told you about Dunlop Motorcycle Tires’ Humble Heroes Project. Dunlop invited people to nominate a health care worker or first responder who had been working on the COVID-19 pandemic since the crisis began in March as a Humble Hero. The winning nominee would get a 2020 Harley-Davidson Roadster. After sifting through the nominating videos and stories, Physician Assistant Darwin Longfellow has been named the winner and recipient of the Roadster.
As it turns out, Longfellow is already a motorcyclist—check out Longfellow's blog—and was subsequently nominated by multiple people. We can't tell you about Longfellow nearly as well as those who know and work with her, so we will let them take over:
- Scott Toepfer: "When I first met Darwin Longfellow, it was all about motorcycles. We shared a love of the open road, and the wonders of the desert on two wheels. I learned that Darwin had recently graduated from a Physician Assistant program and was working in a health clinic in rural Northern New Mexico. I was immediately impressed by her passionate dedication to her work, and we became fast friends.
"In addition to daily COVID-19 test screenings, Darwin provides safety-net care for patients with needs regarding pregnancy, Diabetes, Hepatitis C, and drug addiction. The clinic operates in one of the most impoverished areas of the United States and provides care regardless of ability of a patient to pay, which protects the uninsured, underinsured, and undocumented. Darwin loves the open road, and once told me that, 'Being motorcycle people, we love to move on.' When the work is done and Darwin can resume her pre-pandemic routine, I can't think of a better way for her to 'move on' than to hit the roads of Northern New Mexico on a new Harley-Davidson."
- Ashley Rolshoven: "During the start of COVID, she was the first-person doing testing in our community open to any and all who wanted to be tested. She put herself in danger to help people. Darwin has put her life aside in order to assure others are being taken care of during these hard times. I wish I could just insert her in this essay so y'all could meet her in person. Knowing her is loving her. She is such a badass young woman with so much to give in this world."
- Brooke Samples: "I couldn't think of a better person to nominate for this than the one and only Darwin Longfellow. She is incredible for so many reasons, but especially when she was truly put to the test of being a new graduate as a Physician Assistant in the time of COVID. She was the only clinician at her location working full time through the entire pandemic and continues to do so. When her colleagues were afraid of becoming sick and insisting on only doing phone visits, Darwin was standing in a hot blacktop parking lot in the middle of the summer, overheating in mask, gown, face shield, and gloves, explaining CDC guidelines to her community members in easy-to-understand terms. She also did COVID testing clinics during summer monsoons and insane wind bursts in Taos."
- Kelley Rutter: "As a fellow healthcare provider, I have been humbled by Darwin's selfless service to her patients. She has met her community where they are, and cared for them with limited resources and support, working diligently to practice preventive medicine and protect her community both within and outside of the clinic. In a group that prides itself on service to others, she, without a doubt, stands among the highest tier."
Mike Buckley, Senior VP, Sales and Marketing, Dunlop Motorcycle Tires, explains Dunlop's motivation behind the initiative, as well as the selection of Longfellow as the winner: "We started this campaign to honor all essential workers across America, including our many workers in Buffalo, New York, who masked-up and came in to keep bikes rolling. We quickly realized the impact the pandemic had on first responders, so we focused on giving something back to them to honor their efforts. We chose Darwin, but we wish we could choose all of them because they are all heroes. Her story just hit all of us the hardest."