Jan. 13, 2022

Nursing alum plans to cycle across Canada to raise money and awareness around homelessness

Patrick Whiddon BN’00 is the manager of Dhamma Karuna, an Alberta Vipanassana Meditation Centre in Youngstown, Alberta
Patrick Whiddon BN'00
Patrick Whiddon BN'00

After working as a paediatric nurse at the Alberta Children's Hospital for many years and more than 10 years working as a camp nurse running a camp infirmary, Patrick Whiddon went to chiropractic college in Davenport, Iowa. After graduating and working as a chiropractor, he decided to cycle across Canada for a year raising awareness, empathy and funds for people currently experiencing homelessness, calling the campaign Journey Towards Heroes and Homes (JTHAH).

In 2016 and 2018, Whiddon cycled across Canada and had been planning on cycling in spring 2020 before COVID-19 hit. He currently lives and works in Youngstown, Alberta as the centre manager at an Alberta Vipassana Meditation Centre called Dhamma Karuna.

Whiddon says he plans to resume cycling for JTHAH in the spring of 2022. “Together, we can have a positive impact on people currently experiencing homelessness, change lives for the better and heal intergenerational trauma,” he says.

Patrick Whiddon roadside kids

Patrick Whiddon BN'00 with kids roadside on his cycling journey for Journey Towards Heroes across Canada to raise awareness, empathy and funds for people currently experiencing homelessness,

What is it about being a nurse/your role that keeps you going?
“The intention of caring for others. Through the contribution of caring for others, you also care for yourself in many ways. Best combined with an active practice of self-care and acts of self-love.”

Is there any one thing that could have prevented you from getting there?

Best memory from UCalgary Nursing
“Many steep learning curve experiences in the lab, whether in-person labs or anatomy labs.”

What did you do in your spare time during your nursing program?
“Cycling, snowboarding, swimming, working as a lifeguard at the U of C pool.”

A talent you wish you had
“Continued focused intention on compassion, at all moments. Maybe more of a skill?”

Your greatest extravagance
“Travel. There is much gratitude for the many travel experiences I have had. While costly at times, the lessons, growth and empathy received is priceless.”

A dream yet to fulfill
“Create a community of healing; a therapeutic community where members live in a fully-supported environment with a full-time intention of seeking healing opportunities.”

Your motto
“My favorite quote is, ‘I alone cannot change the world but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples’ by Mother Teresa.

When were you happiest, and where?
“There is much gratitude for the many happiest memories, all for different reasons. Beaches in Thailand brought some of the happiest, as did climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and being on safari in Africa. Some of the happiest memories are time spent with a little boy I helped raise from a baby.”

Anything you’d rather be doing right now?
“For right now, I am in the perfect place. When I start cycling on the Journey Towards Heroes and Homes this spring, I will also be in the perfect place.”

What do you most value in your friends?
“Trust, non-judgmental support, unconditional contribution and empathy.”

Any good snippets of advice to share with new grads?
“Stay focused on the intention. Over time, the results will change. Remember the best results will arise from a pure, focused intention on compassion, caring and selfless contribution.”

If you’re a graduate of UCalgary Nursing and would like to share your journey since graduation, fill out this easy online form to tell us where you are now.