July 3, 2020

UCalgary grad bikes 2,020 kilometres this summer to fundraise for sick babies

New PhD Malcolm Eaton cycles city streets to benefit child health

Malcolm Eaton just completed his PhD and instead of taking it easy, he decided to spin his life in a new direction. He’s covering 2,020 kilometres of Calgary — that’s a quarter of the city’s streets — on his bike to raise funds to support the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Alberta Children's Hospital. So far, he has 10 ride sponsorships and the list is growing.

“I’m doing this because I really like biking, first of all,” says Eaton. While job searching after graduation, Eaton realized he wanted to stay in Calgary and do something to help the city during this challenging period.

I know charities are facing difficult times and I want to give back, to make the city better.

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Eaton is no stranger to supporting children. He’s participated in fundraisers such as YMCA Strong Kids, and he has chosen the cause of child health because he conducted research during his graduate studies into child and prenatal health. 

Eaton was mentored by Dr. Jay Cross, DVM, PhD, a professor in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. In the Cross Lab, Eaton studied the impact of maternal diet on the development of the placenta, the organ providing oxygen and nutrients to the growing baby during pregnancy.

“Malcolm’s vision is a challenge for himself but it is spurred on by a deep desire to do things for his community, big or small. He inspires me and we could all use some of that right now,” says Cross.

“I’m going to get up every single morning and ride a part of the city that I may have never seen before, learning what I can about the community along the way,” says Eaton, who is inspired by the support he is already receiving. A team of friends is helping him, pitching in with marketing, navigation of Calgary streets, and producing a high-quality documentary of the ride that will be screened at a film festival when it is completed.

“We will be posting my ride route every day on social media,” he says. “Other riders are welcome to join me. Calgary, we would love your support for Ride_YYC,” he says.

You can follow Eaton’s adventure on Instagram @ride_yyc and you can email him at rideyyc2020@gmail.com

For information on how you can donate, please visit here.

Malcolm Eaton explains his RIDE YYC campaign

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