There was an extra special someone who showed up to surprise DeGeneres — her wife, Portia de Rossi. And de Rossi didn’t show up empty-handed, either! Instead, she brought DeGeneres “the best gift” the talk show host could have ever imagined.
De Rossi entered the show’s set, and DeGeneres seemed genuinely surprised to see her, but little did she know what was in store. De Rossi explained the reason for her visit saying:
“It’s your 60th birthday, and this gift had to be really special, and it had to represent who you are and what you really care about. Not just now, but what you’ve always cared about, what you were influenced by and what has made you the amazing person that you are today.”
From there, she let a video she’d put together reveal the gift to DeGeneres as well as the audience. The video explained that one of DeGeneres’ idols as a girl and still to this day is Dian Fossey, a woman who dedicated her life to protecting mountain gorillas. From there, de Rossi told about how she used her wife’s love of Fossey’s work and animals to inspire the gift:
As the video explained, there’s a fund in Fossey’s name that raises money in order to better protect the only hundreds of gorillas that are alive today. And now, thanks to de Rossi, the fund will have an official campus, called The Ellen DeGeneres Center for The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
But that wasn’t all de Rossi had to say! She also announced that she had started a fund called The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund so DeGeneres could put special projects together to aid in the protection of animals.
What an incredibly thoughtful gift!
The news understandably brought DeGeneres to tears. She addressed her wife of nearly 10 years and the audience by saying:
“I’ve always said, when we got married, Portia’s line was, ‘It’s good to be loved, it’s profound to be understood.’ And she understands me because that is the best gift that anybody could have given me. So, I love you.”
Everyone from those working to continue Fossey’s work to fans of DeGeneres were thrilled to see the talk show host honored with such a meaningful gift. They took to Twitter to share in the joy of her big day:
“We’re still spinning with joy from today’s amazing birthday gift from @portiaderossi & #EllenDeGeneres,” the official Fossey Gorilla Fund account tweeted.
We’re still spinning with joy from today’s amazing birthday gift from @portiaderossi & #EllenDeGeneres. Portia’s 60th-birthday present to her wife will help build a permanent, state-of-the-art home for the scientists advancing work begun by our founder Dian Fossey. @TheEllenShow pic.twitter.com/M0rcWh2IXH
— Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund (@SavingGorillas) February 1, 2018
Fans called this the “perfect gift” for DeGeneres:
Perfect gift for her. She'll be thrilled. Ellen is a great animal advocate.
— 🇺🇸DaleWillResist📣 (@awelab1956) February 1, 2018
It seems as though de Rossi hit it out of the park with this one! Such a great gift for such a great woman. Happy birthday, Ellen!
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