Joan Hecht
About the Author: Joan Hecht

The story of the Lost Boys of Sudan has touched people from all walks of life. From movie stars and politicians to the average housewife, people from around the world have fallen in love with these courageous young men. Joan Hecht was no exception. When hearing of their story for the first time, Joan’s eyes filled with tears and she felt a deep stirring in her soul. She knew that helping them was not an option. It was a call to her heart from God and she responded. Like many others, she felt compelled to be a mother to these young men who couldn’t even remember the faces of their own mothers. “Mama Joan” hoped only to help change their lives, never realizing how knowing each of them would so drastically change her own.

Ezekiel Kong Deng and Mama Joan

Joan unofficially adopted one of the lost boys, Ezekiel Kong Deng, who passed away in June of 2002 following a failed liver transplant. Because of her deep love for Ezekiel, and all the Lost Boys, it became Joan’s dream to establish a foundation in which she could assist them with their medical and educational needs. Your generous support will allow Joan’s dream to continue.

A mother of two young children, Joan has now retired from her career as a sales and marketing executive. She also worked previously as a professional singer in recording studios and performed across the nation and on television and radio, as a former background singer for Johnny Van Zant (of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Van Zant Brothers Fame) and as a gospel singer with the late evangelist Lester Roloff.

Ms. Hecht was named one of four finalists in the volunteer category for the prestigious "EVE Awards" sponsored by the Florida Times Union newspaper in Jacksonville, Florida. She has also recently published a book about the Lost Boys titled "The Journey of the Lost Boys". For more information about this book please visit