Jacob Grover was born weighing 964 grams (2 pounds, 2 ounces) on Dec. 12, 1997, in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the Jewish General Hospital. “For the first 10 weeks of his life, the very supportive and caring staff of the NICU not only took excellent care of our son, but became a second family to us during this critical time," says his mother, Gilla Geiger.
Now 16, Jacob is a confident and healthy teenager with a mission. “For my family and me, the JGH is a very special place and we feel indebted to the hospital," he says. “I wanted to do something to give back to the hospital for what it has done for me." First he established the Jacob Grover Fund for the NICU by registering on the JGH Foundation's website, which enabled him to set up his own click-to-donate website. Then he organized a 20-kilometre cyclothon on May 26, 2013, attracting 25 cyclists and raising more than $7,600 for the NICU—well above his initial goal of $5,000. For Jacob, though, this is just the beginning, as he has big plans for the future. “I plan to make this an annual event, getting bigger every year," he said. “In a few years, we'll be closing the streets."