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Report on Business Former Toronto SickKids doctor cycles 12,000 km across Africa for Transforming Faces

Dr. Peter Cox in September, 2005 at SickKids in Toronto.

Jim Ross/The Globe and Mail

The donor: Peter Cox

The gift: Raising $214,000 and climbing

The cause: Transforming Faces

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When Dr. Peter Cox retired as an intensive care physician at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children after 30 years, he wanted to take on a new challenge but still serve children.

He decided to embark on a demanding journey, cycling 12,000 kilometres across Africa from Cairo to Cape Town while raising money for Transforming Faces, a Canadian charity that provides cleft repair surgery as well as other health services in developing countries. Dr. Cox, who is originally from South Africa, left Egypt on Jan. 17 and plans to arrive in Cape Town, South Africa, in May. “I had reached a personal milestone where I wanted to do something simpler for more kids and could think of nothing better than giving a child a smile,” he said in an e-mail during a recent stop in Ethiopia. “Doing the 12,000-km, 10-country ride seemed a good spacer between my very busy and demanding clinical and admin job at SickKids and my next career – as yet loosely defined.”

He added that he has raised $107,000 so far and has an anonymous donor who will match every gift dollar for dollar, "which means a total of $214,000. Or – a smile for over 2,000 kids. Imagine!”

After the ride Dr. Cox, 65, plans to work with Doctors Without Borders and teach medicine as a volunteer in India, Thailand, South Africa and Malawi. But for now he continues to pedal his way across Africa “learning lots about different cultures and people. And myself.”

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