The gift: Raising $255,000 and climbing
The cause: SickKids Hospital in Toronto
When Brian Culbert's son Matthew was born, he had a skin disorder so serious that doctors weren't sure he would survive.
Mr. Culbert and his wife, Denise, spent weeks at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children holding their son and hoping for the best. Remarkably, Matthew recovered, and while his skin is still sensitive, he's an active 17-year-old who enjoys a multitude of sports.
Mr. Culbert, an investment adviser at CIBC Wood Gundy in Toronto, vowed to do something to give back to the hospital. Years later, having discovered a passion for long-distance cycling and running, and with the help of his friend and coach, Dave Battison, Mr. Culbert began competing in events such as the Utra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, a gruelling 119-kilometre run over mountains in France, Switzerland and Italy. He turned the races into fundraising activities for SickKids and so far has raised $255,000. The proceeds help fund a program to train nurses in Ghana.
Mr. Battison died in 2015, but Mr. Culbert, 57, has pledged to keep going in honour of his friend, his son and the hospital. "I'm trying to pick the next challenge," he said. "And the challenge is always twofold: one is to survive the race, but more importantly to draw attention to this amazing program that's evolving in Ghana."