MEET THE TEAM


Eric McQuesten
OnePulse Founder/Team Leader
29 Years Old
Columbus, OH/ Los Angeles, CA


When I first started OnePulse I promised to help the people of Malawi and I couldn’t be happier to see this come true by leading this incredible group of people who shares OnePulse’s vision. Working with Partners In Health has been such a great experience in the past and I am incredibly grateful to be able to support their work on a larger scale with our first international expedition.

This mission is very close to my heart as I believe that everyone should have at least their basic health needs met. I can’t stand around anymore and watch people suffer and die from things that can be prevented, so here I am leaving for Malawi this summer to help bring change to the warm heart of Africa.

Please, follow us, support us, donate and become part of our journey.

Untitled design (29).png
 

Natali Anna Ortiz
OnePulse Project Coordinator/Rider
28 Years Old
Los Angeles, CA/Malaga, Spain

I was born and raised in Fuengirola, a small town in the southern coast of Spain, where I was very fortunate to have access to free healthcare. Now, living in the United States, I have experienced struggles with healthcare coverage in first hand, and I have learned to value its incredible importance. The idea of not having access to healthcare at all truly breaks my heart; This is something that nobody should go through in this day and age. I, like Partners in Health, believe that healthcare is a human right and I want to do everything that is in my power to contribute towards the goal of making this a worldwide fact. Therefore, joining OnePulse in this expedition to help Partners in Health expand healthcare outreach and eradicate preventable deaths in Malawi was a “no brainer."

Growing up, my bicycle was my only personal transportation, next to my feet. However, coming from a small town the distances I cycled were never extremely long. Cycling 45 miles a day throughout "the warm heart of Africa" will definitely be a mental and physical challenge, but a challenge that I cannot wait to embrace!

Please join me in helping improve the lives of many Malawians by donating towards my $4000 fundraising goal.

 

Natalia Horinkova
Official Onepulse Photographer/Rider
31 Years Old
Bratislava,Slovakia/ Sydney, Australia

I was asked to join OnePulse’s Malawi expedition as their official photographer, but it's not just photography that brings me to it. I fell in love with Africa a couple of years ago when I first visited Tanzania. Since then, I have visited another seven African countries. I have fallen in love with their people, culture and of course, their sunsets; There is nothing more beautiful than an African Sunset. I have also learned what I believe is the biggest lesson and that’s to help one another. In the African culture everyone is your sister and brother and by joining this expedition, I am hoping to help raise not only money but as well awareness about some of the issues that people of Malawi have to face on a daily basis.

I have learned to go into my adventures with nothing more than an open heart and no expectations. Cycling is a mental and physical challenge for me. I am an Ocean person, and I spend most of my days diving, swimming, and kayaking. When this opportunity came, first I hesitated (for about 30 seconds), but what is a little sore bum in comparison to some of the challenges that the Malawians have to face? And who knows, it might even become one of my favorite things to do!

My minimum goal to fundraise is $2000, but I'll be more than happy to achieve anything above it.

 

Megan Malone
Communications
29 years old
Flint, MI/ San Diego, CA

Since stepping foot into my first developing country, I looked around me and saw the disparities these communities face and thought how fortunate I am to be able to see that this isn’t how it should be and that I can make a difference if I make the effort. The work that One Pulse does resonates with my personal mission so greatly that I jumped at the chance to accompany them to Malawi.  By participating I hope to make a positive impact on the lives of people in Malawi in any capacity that I am able.

I’m sure this will change me in ways that I can’t anticipate, as every great challenge does. I hope to learn more about myself and what I am capable of, along with what I may do as a public health professional to make a larger impact in the world of global healthcare. I have no doubt that this trip and the dedicated people that I will be surrounded by will affirm my passion for future work in global health.

To be honest, I’ve never been much of a cyclist. I am a very active person and I love trying new things so I thought what could be better than picking up a bike and riding with some like minded people. Since beginning my training for this I find cycling to be incredibly cathartic and the time spent riding, exploring my city gives me a chance to open my mind to think about things clearly.  

 

 

Logan Byars
Rider

24 Years Old
San Mateo, CA

Through completing this ride with OnePulse, I hope to gain a better understanding of a culture and a part of the world that I have not yet been exposed to. I wish to obtain an amazing life experience while giving back to others in return, by combining my passion for adventure cycling and human compassion. I also look forward to riding my bike on another continent for the first time, as a lifetime goal of mine is to ride my bike through as many countries as I can.

I think this experience will open my eyes to what life is like outside of what I see and get exposed to every day. I always hear what it is like in other parts of the world, but to be able to see it for myself is going to be a life-changing experience. This will also be my first experience being so hands on with a nonprofit, and I feel very excited and grateful to be able to have the opportunity to give back to something bigger than myself. I think this experience will further my appreciation for the things I have in my life, such as having clean water to be able to drink daily or how fortunate I am to have access to healthcare. It will also be a great opportunity for me to truly live in the moment, being present and aware with every pedal I take while riding through a beautiful country with my new life long friends.  

Cycling to me has always been a huge part of my life. Growing up my Dad was a bike sales rep for many different brands, so being on a bike became second nature at a young age. As I grew up cycling, this evolved from just being a fun thing to do with my friends or a father/son bond, to a convenient way of transportation, to later giving me the freedom to ride across the United States. The bike is a powerful thing to me; it can take an adult and make them feel like a kid all over again. For me, riding a bicycle lets me relive and remember places I’ve traveled to by bike in the past. It allows me to feel the same things I felt while it was happening the first time. Cycling is huge to me, and I am incredibly grateful for bringing me to where I am today.

My minimum personal fundraising goal is $4000, but anything more than that would be an even greater victory and contribution for our nonprofit partners!

 

Tany Holzworth
Rider
24 Years Old

LaPorte, CO

At one time I thought I would join the Peace Corps, but I fell in love with my profession working with people with disabilities and realized there was a huge need here. The urge to travel and contribute my skills has never gone away, and I love that this Malawi expedition will give me the opportunity to use my body to increase awareness and funding for an organization that is SO EFFECTIVE. My skills cannot compare to what Partners in Health can do to reduce preventable deaths, but I can use my privilege and my health to fight for quality of life for others through PIH.

I am starting graduate school for Urban Education in the fall, and this will be the last big thing I am able to do before I buckle down and study. I hope to find my center through the physicality and remoteness of the trip and to reboot some of my passion for service and equity to bring to my program and my students. The amount of work that needs to go into equity in our world gets overwhelming sometimes, and being able to know we are chipping away at it and surrounding myself with others who are also dedicated helps take away some of the immensity of suffering in the world.

 

Jen Morris
Rider
27 Years Old

Dearborn, MI/ NY, NY/ Brattleboro, VT

I'm thrilled to join OnePulse and Partners in Health on this incredible journey because, above all, I believe that healthcare is a human right. I've seen in my own life the make-or-break difference access to healthcare can make and so for the last four years, I've dedicated my life to addressing health and wellness issues by developing food connection programs for kids from Vermont to NYC. 

I truly believe that to unleash humanity's full potential and save ourselves from this mess we have created, we must make sustainable healthcare (traditional medical healthcare, as well as access to healthy foods and activities) our priority. I feel so honored to have the opportunity to cycle with OnePulse to raise awareness for the incredible work PIH is doing to create sustainable, healthy communities in Malawi! 

On a more personal note, I've been a commuter cyclist for most of my adult life, but rarely for more than 20 miles at a time. I look forward to the challenge involved with a long-distance bike tour (45 miles per day!), and the connections I hope to make with the people I ride with and meet along the way! 

My personal fundraising goal is $5,000. Please help me by contributing what you can today! 

 

Rachel Picard
Rider

23 years old
Nashua, New Hampshire/Rome, Italy

My name is Rachel, and I am a twenty-three year old from Nashua, New Hampshire. My home now is Rome, Italy, where I live with my Italian cousins. Besides finally learning how to cook edible food (thank you, Italian family!!). I am currently teaching English and applying to graduate schools. I was fortunate to run cross country and track for my university, and I now run long-distance for fun, along with drinking espresso on my balcony (this is my favorite hobby). When I find some spare time, I also enjoy reading anything at all, studying photography, and simply being outside.

I consider it the greatest honor to join the OnePulse team this summer. I applied because I first met OnePulse in 2014 while biking across the USA with FaceAIDS and Partners in Health. I was deeply impressed by the passion and commitment of OnePulse then, and immediately knew I would love to be part of a OnePulse team if possible. I was absolutely thrilled when I got the chance to not only be part of OnePulse this year, but also to get back on my bike in support of Partners in Health’s incredible work.

In 2014, I was blown away every mile of our four thousand mile journey by the kindness, generosity, and heart of the strangers we met along the way. It was both an honor and responsibility to share our goal to raise awareness of and funds for Partners in Health’s HIV and AIDS research. I wanted to join the Malawi Expedition to once again support Partners in Health while also raising awareness and building solidarity. I hope that my role on this journey inspires my communities in the United States and Italy to learn more about Malawi, global health inequality, and how we can all work together to fight for a more just world. I believe that solidarity is an oft-overlooked aspect of working for justice, and one that I am deeply committed to. I personally hope to learn about Malawian culture, form lifelong connections with my team and the people we meet along the journey, and be part of a movement of people who believe in making equitable, effective health care a universal reality.

Please partner with me in bringing effective healthcare to Malawi, as I work to raise four thousand dollars to support this cause. Thank you!

 

Sonja Arnesen.
Rider

27 Years Old
Minnetonka, MN/Chicago, IL

My name is Sonja Arnesen. I am 27 years old from Minnetonka, MN and currently living in Chicago. I am a Wish Coordinator for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois and love helping make a difference in my wish family’s lives. Outside of work, my hobbies include traveling, being outside, and being active! 

When I first learned about the OnePulse mission I was immediately drawn to this organization as it incorporates so much that I am passionate about; world health issues, cycling, nonprofits, and global awareness. My background in public health and my job at Make-A-Wish have grown my desire to help others and get more involved with charity work.

This trip will be challenging in many ways, but I am very excited to embark on this adventure and be pushed outside of my comfort zone. I believe the only way to truly get to know other cultures is by spending time living in their environment. I have lived abroad before and also been on previous cross-country bike trips and believe that these experiences helped shape who I am today.  I am excited to get to know the Malawian people to help understand their health needs and raise funds for Partners in Health.

I've set a personal goal of raising $5,000 and hope to surpass my goal by spreading awareness about our mission and encouraging others to join our journey in form of a donation.

 

Susie DeLapp
Rider

27 years old
Albuquerque, NM

My name is Susie DeLapp, I’m 27 years old and from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’m a clinical social worker currently working as a therapist for kids in Treatment Foster Care. I love travel, doing anything outdoors, snowboarding, cooking and enjoying tasty and nutritious food, playing with my dog Pasha, and general adventuring.

My reasons for joining the Malawi Expedition are numerous: I want to experience the adventure of the ride itself, to enrich my perspective. I want to connect with people I would otherwise never have an opportunity to meet. I want to challenge myself to broaden my understanding. I want to learn about global health equity, decentralization of healthcare and it’s impact on health outcomes.

I’m fairly certain that I can’t predict the ways this expedition will change me. I’m sure I will struggle. And I’m sure I will be humbled. I hope to use the experience to expand my capacity for compassion, even if in the short term it proves confusing or difficult. For so many reasons, it’s a privilege to be able to ride. I intend to honor my responsibility to improve my self and thus, the world after being afforded such an opportunity.  

Cycling means freedom. I began riding three years ago when I trained for a trip with Bike & Build. Over seventy-one days we rode from Providence, Rhode Island to Seattle, Washington, stopping weekly to build homes with local affordable housing organizations. We were twenty-nine young people on a quest to just keep pedaling. It was far and away the most difficult thing I’ve ever done and it also allowed me the most personal growth. I surprised myself learning how strong I am and I’m not able to forget that lesson. To be capable of such a feat is a true blessing that so many will never experience, and so I now value and regard my body completely differently. There were small things every day that changed my perspective. I learned the value of sharing stories, making them very long and drawn out with twists and turns and all the details and reflections possible. It passes the time, yes, and there is no thing more powerful in connecting with others than the story they choose to tell you in the way they tell it. I am not a frequent rider of my bike at this point in my life. But I can tell you that no matter what is going on if I get on my bike and take a ride the gifts of freedom and perspective come rushing back to me almost immediately, even before I ride long enough to get an endorphin high.  

 

Shawna Ping
Rider

34 Years Old
Pleasanton, CA / Kailua, HI

I work as a nurse at a community hospital on windward Oahu. I have been following the work done by PIH since 2009 and am very excited about the opportunity to work alongside them. I am most interested in learning more about the barriers to healthcare in a country like Malawi, both from a provider's standpoint and through the eyes of those in need. I expect these interactions will give me a fresh perspective on some of our challenges at home.

this expedition combines three of my loves: travel, volunteer work, and endurance athletic adventures in the outdoors!

Untitled design (14).png
 

Untitled design (17).png

Ciara Tilton
Rider
22 Years Old

Denver, CO

I'm a Paramedic and a Public Health Student.

By joining OnePulse in this expedition I hope to bring better healthcare to the people of Malawi, to help decrease the amount of health disparities we have in this world, to serve people and make new friends. Africa has been on my bucket list for years, and now I get to spend a whole month biking through it!

I’ll probably be moving to Africa soon after! Community is huge to me, and I think I’m going to be blown away by how warm hearted and welcoming the Malawians will be to us. I can’t wait to meet them! I also know that another look into the reality of health disparity is going to motivate me even more to keep fighting for the people that need healthcare so badly.

I’ve been riding forever! I used to bike 25 miles a day through highschool and college for work, because I couldn’t afford a car. Even now that I have a car, I always rather bike because I love the motion of cycling and having that time to myself makes a huge difference for my days at work. Now that I live at the base of the Rockies my getaways are deep into the mountains with my bike and dog.

I am aiming to raise 5k!

 

Talia Macauley
Rider

22 Years Old
Norwell, MA

Hi, I’m Talia! Having grown up in small town Norwell, MA just south of Boston, I’ve always been eager to see the world. I am 22 years old and I am passionate about seeing, learning from, and adventuring among as much of the world as I can. So when an opportunity to live and go to college in New York City presented itself, I couldn’t pass it up. However, life at Fordham University was far from what I expected it to be, and I am incredibly grateful for it. While I spent some time in the big and bright Manhattan, I spent the majority of my four years getting to know and learning from the vibrant community immediately surrounding my campus in the Bronx. I was able to really get to know my community in a way that allowed me to work alongside them in an effort to foster positive change. I’ve come to understand and firmly believe that the best way to make any sort of change is by learning from, getting to know, and listening to the communities seeking and in most need of that change.

This brought me to where I am today—I currently serve as an AmeriCorps member with City Year in the South Boston Community and will be getting my Masters in Global Public Health and Policy next year. OnePulse brings an amazing opportunity for me to continue learning from and working with global communities but also to get to know a culture, people, and health system that will no doubt set the stage for the degree I will be pursuing next year. I am beyond thrilled to be pushing myself physically while also getting the opportunity to support an amazing cause and learn from a beautiful country and its communities.    

All the best,

Talia

 

Eric Kollai
Rider
38 Years old

Cleveland, OH/Kailua, HI  

I’m extremely excited for this unique opportunity to ride across Malawi raising money for a fantastic cause.  I’m looking forward to getting to know the people of Malawi and learning  about their health care needs.  Hopefully, my 13 years as a physician (scary) will aid in my ability to identify barriers to good health and provide some guidance along the way.  There is no better way to see a new place than by bicycle.  Slowly traversing a country on a bike is such a wonderful way to learn about a group of people and their living environment.  Moreover, strangers are much more approachable when smiling and pedaling into a village.  I’m sure we’ll be quite a site as we roll into towns and villages.  

I try to ride a bike daily for exercise, competition or as transportation.  Why would you drive a car around town when you can ride? It’s much more personal and often times faster in my neighborhood.  I couldn’t imagine life without bikes.  My different bikes even have names, but we won’t get into that.  I was quite fortunate to grow up in a bike riding family, inspiring me to race and travel with a bike whenever possible

Sub Saharan Africa has held an important place in my heart for a long time.   I frequently dreamed of Africa as a child.  Just before starting medical school, I had a chance to spend my summer working in a rural clinic in Zimbabwe.  I’ll never forget the friendliness of the people.  Adults and children always lit up with smiles when I ran and ride through their villages attempting to converse in Shona.  I didn’t have much to offer medically, but the people were appreciative nonetheless.  My great regret is that I haven’t been back.  This will be a different experience, but I’m eager to get acquainted with more of the wonderful people of Africa. Also, I’m eager to meet this diverse group of riders.  Hopefully, this philanthropic experience will inspire us and others to be stewards for people in need.  

Aloha and Mahalo,

Eric Kollai

 

Paula Durbin
Rider
36 Years Old
Columbus, OH

 

I anticipate this to be an exceptionally fulfilling experience. Healthcare is something I am extremely passionate about. I am a registered nurse. I hope for this opportunity to be both memorable and life-affirming.  By participating in this excursion I aspire to have an impact on the world and hopefully make a difference in the lives of the people of Malawi, even if it may only be a small one. In addition, I am looking forward to sharing this experience with 19 other people and the sense of community and friendships we will develop along the way. 

I know from previous experiences that this will be a life changing adventure. I think volunteering is an experience that is good for both your mind and body. We have become such a disconnected society full of self interest. Experiences such as this can help us to reconnect and become more empathetic and compassionate people. I've gone through a lot changes in the past year both personally and professionally and I'm hoping this will help to shape the new perspective and appreciation I have been developing on life. 

 I'm actually not much of a cyclist. I've always been more of a runner. Physically this is going to be an enormous challenge that I’m excited to take on. 

 

Hunter Lambert
Rider
23 Years Old
Flint, MI/ Santa Barbara, CA


Hello! I'm Hunter, a midwest transplant currently residing in Southern California. I moved to Santa Barbara from Flint, Michigan straight out of high school for what I thought was just for college, but quickly found out California was my true home. I am currently 23 years old and studying Biology with an emphasis in Public Health, eventually hoping to pursue a degree as a Physician’s Assistant or a Doctor. I am deeply passionate about science and medicine, animal rights, environmental sustainability, and volunteering for charities that support the homeless, elderly, and disadvantaged children. I truly believe that the role of a responsible member of society entails helping those who are less fortunate. I am constantly looking for ways I can give back to my communities of Santa Barbara and Flint; it’s true that even the smallest gesture of kindness can change the lives of many strangers.

Aside from all that, I enjoy playing the guitar and piano, traveling to new and exciting places, going to concerts and music festivals, creating new and delicious vegan/vegetarian recipes, spending time with my friends and family, exploring new hiking trails and beaches around Santa Barbara, and learning (erm, attempting) to learn my third language, French!

I am so unbelievably excited for this life-changing journey to Malawi with One Pulse and Partners in Health. I’m excited to see how far I can mentally and physically push myself on this epic ride, while simultaneously fulfilling my desire to educate and assist those who are less fortunate than myself. What I hope to gain from this experience is to become more in tune to the needs of others around me. In this crazy, materialistic world we’re all living in today (and I find myself so often feeding into), it’s easy to look past the small opportunities of helping others. With that being said, I’m so very excited to take on a journey much bigger than myself that will hopefully change the lives of Malawians for the better and that I will forever be proud of. 

 

Ocean Zhang
Rider
23 years old
Shanghai, China/Los Angeles, CA

I am an Electrical Engineer by trade, and an adventurer at heart. There is a slightly different kind of beauty in both of them. However, whether I was looking at the sunrise over the edge of Hawaii, or from the tinted window of my engineering lab, there is always an appreciation for a brand new day. I believe that working with Partners in Health will give kids in Malawi the chance to see many more sunrises. There are very few non-profits as committed to a cause as Partners in Health is. Moreover, if I need a noble reason to bike across Malawi, then I just found a great one.

After biking across the United States with OnePulse in 2015, I realized that bicycles are so much more than transportation tools. The destination sure gave me the bragging right, but it was the stories and people along the way that had changed me the most. I am lucky to have this chance to go on another adventure with OnePulse. 

Along with my commitment to help OnePulse, I pledged to donate $4000 to Partners in Health. If you are wondering, that is what the big red button below is for. It will help me tremendously if you can donate even the slightest amount to this cause. 


Ashley Legacy
Rider
23 Years Old
Kalamazoo, MI

Hello, all! I'm Ashley, a born and raised Michigander, global warming and environmental sustainability enthusiast, caregiver and adventure seeker. I am a recent college graduate from Western Michigan University where I received my Bachelors in Science with a focus on Holistic Health. After taking my well-needed year and a half off of school, I plan to attend Physician Assistant school and (hopefully) join the Doctors Without Borders Program to learn and practice different alternative medicines around the world. Coming this October, I will officially ditch this crazy midwest weather and make the big move to the west coast to reside in Portland, Oregon. When I find the time, I enjoy reading, brushing up on my "español", exploring new hiking/biking trails, practicing yoga, going to live music around town, attempting to get my short fingers to practice piano, and spending as much time with my family and friends while I'm still living in the Midwest.

My first experience in a developing country was a couple of years ago in Costa Rica. I spent two months exploring the country and volunteering at a local nursing home where I experienced the disparities there in first hand. Growing up in America, I never truly realized how privileged I was before this trip. While living with my Costa Rican family, there were many days the city was short on hot water, which meant taking many cold showers. We didn't have air conditioning, which meant the doors and windows stayed open during the day no matter how bad the bugs got at times (and trust me, they were bad, especially around meal times.) But these conditions were far from the worst conditions throughout the country. This experience is what gave me the motivation to make a difference and improve the lives of others who were unfortunately dealt a bad hand in life. 

When I heard about the Malawi project with One Pulse and Partners in Health, I was more than eager to join the team. Traveling to Africa has been a bucket list item of mine for years. Now, not only am I going to be able to explore Africa, but I get to do it by biking AND help Malawians in need! I can't lie, I'm a little nervous, but so excited to be pushed mentally and physically and see just what I'm capable of achieving. 


Louise Contino
Rider
29 Years Old
New York, NY

Sometimes the stars truly do seem to align. Certainly, this rings true for me when I reflect on the opportunity I have been given to join the OnePulse team. Our journey represents a powerful synergy between my passions and vocation. Not only is the bicycle my primary means of transportation and travel one of my favorite activities, I am also dedicating my career to global health and international development. This trip is a serendipitous way to combine these elements into one extraordinary experience. My gratitude is abundant.

Furthermore, the timing couldn’t be better. This fall I will begin my Masters of Public Administration in Development Practice and Public Health at Columbia  University. I am humbled by this opportunity to transform my passions into my profession, and eager to acquire the skills needed to design, implement and manage impactful programs for sustainable development. I can think of no better way to prepare for this undertaking than to cycle across Malawi and witness firsthand the challenges of extreme poverty that many Malawians confront daily.

This will mark my second trip to Sub-Saharan Africa. I first traveled there in 2014 when I moved to Uganda for six months to direct my participatory photography project, Picturing Wanteete. Hands down this is one of my life’s most enriching experiences and I am thrilled to return and explore Malawi, a country new to me. Furthermore, I am honored to raise money and awareness for Partners In Health because I deeply respect their immense contributions to the global fight for healthcare as a human right. My goal is to raise $10 for every mile I ride. I thank you for helping us to reach our $100,000 team fundraising goal and sharing the journey with us!