Stuck in a rut, going nowhere, dropped out of school, little looks bright on Toby’s horizon. Unfit, a heavy smoker, no money or leads, and in a doomed relationship, at the age of twenty-one, it was an all too familiar story.
Yet, what happens if you stub out that cigarette, and create your own opportunities? How you get from that ‘Marlboro Moment’ to building East & Central Africa’s 1st public children’s hospital?
If you have ever thought the odds are down, life is passing you by, but you do not know where or how to start to begin living a life of purpose, read the story, and follow this guidebook.
“He almost died but it was a chance for Toby to find his calling.” Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN.
Zanzibar, December 29th, 1999. Toby Tanser, a professional athlete, is running along the shore of the Indian Ocean when two malicious men viciously attack the runner with a machete and a baseball bat. With a fractured skull and severed wrist, he must run to save his life. Arriving at a dilapidated clinic with no antibiotics, anesthetics, and little more a bandage, needle, and a thread, it takes Toby eleven days of suffering before flying to England to undergo brain surgery. Before he travels, on the night of the millennium, an Indian doctor insists of a greater meaning why he came to Africa; time would reveal this purpose.
Back in New York, Toby wants to assist the people he left behind. His friends do not perceive why he becomes absorbed with trying to help a land where he holds no alliances. Fantastic opportunities are opening in the Big Apple; why not prioritize on your personal life? He is a columnist and writes books, befriends movie stars, and coaches athletic teams and a state university. He sits on the board of the organization hosting the world’s largest marathon, but he never forgets Africa.
Eight years later, after hosting a peace movement with dozens of Kenyan Olympians in a conflict zone, the meaning surfaces on a morning like no other. Hearing of three-year-old Miriam’s murder inside a burning church, the repeat of the doctor’s prophetic sentence, and then being handed a proposal to build East & Central Africa’s 1st public children’s hospital at a random café, whirl inside Toby’s head.
Connecting the dots, he knows, this is his call of destiny. But accepting will mean abandoning his plans to pursue the lucrative launch of the Manhattan Marathon, a venture he has created with his billionaire partner. Should he take the money and run, or serve as an unpaid volunteer, and attempt building a hospital that in the space of a few years, would treat hundreds upon thousands of impoverished children? This is a true heart-stopping story.
“This is God’s Work.”
Steven Spielberg, upon hearing about the Shoe4Africa Hospital
“Your passion and commitment to helping Africa’s children are infectious.” Robert B. Zoelllick, President, the World Bank.
“I am informed of the sacrifice you made, to fund raise to build this facility. On behalf of the Government I can not thank you enough for your contribution and unwavering support.” The Deputy President of Kenya, Hon. William Sameoi Ruto.
“Thank you Toby Tanser for giving your support to the children of Africa, I can only express my gratitude to you and to all who support you in this life-saving endeavor that is giving our children a better chance of survival. Bless you.” Edna Adan, Former First lady of Somalia, and founder of the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital. Author of ‘A Woman of Firsts.’
“I commend you for Shoe4Africa’s efforts to fight poverty. I also want to thank you for incorporating HIV/AIDS education into your program.” President Bill Clinton.
“It is admirable work you are doing embracing the poor and needy of Kenya. Keep it up.” President of Kenya, 1978-2002, Hon. Daniel Arap Moi
“I thought Toby’s run was amazing. It has never been done and he’s not doing it to be the best or to just do something, he is doing it for charity, to help other people.” Sir Mo Farah.
“SHOE4AFRICA has become a powerful agent for change.” NTV (Kenyan National Television).
“This is one single man who has come to Kenya and struggled to do the work of a government. Who builds a national hospital and a series of public schools?” Moses Kiptanui, Three-time world champion, multiple world record holder, 1st sub 8-minute steeplechaser in history.
“I have not seen any person, or politician in Kenya, do more good than what I have seen what Toby Tanser has done.” Member of Parliament, Hon. Wesley Korir.
“You are making a fine contribution to the development of sport in Africa.” Sir Roger Bannister.
“I’m supporting Toby and Shoe4Africa so much, because he is doing something from the bottom of his heart.” Marathon World Record holder, Mary Keitany, who ran her first senior competition, in 2005 at a Shoe4Africa development race.
‘Toby was not a white savior who started a charity to “Save Africa” (and pay himself). He was not burned out by corporate life, seeking to help as he searched for a career-choice. No, he was driven to help by his heart. For two decades, he worked tirelessly without pay to change Africa, to bring jobs, education, and healthcare for others with seemingly little care for himself.’ Lorna Chelagat, Kenya.
‘This is charity work at its best.’ J. K. Boit.
“Toby has done a lot more for a lot of people in his life than most folk would even attempt to do in a lifetime.” Liz McColgan, world champion.