Dr. Tertius Venter, a South African plastics reconstructive surgeon who volunteers with Mercy Ships, has undertaken a 3-leg bicycle tour, Cycle Miles for Smiles, to raise awareness of the global need for surgical care.

The first two legs of the tour were in Europe and South Africa. The final leg will span the USA from east coast to west coast in June and July.

He will be at the Mercy Ships International Operations Center near Tyler, Texas, on July 5-7.

Dr. Venter’s goal is to raise awareness that 1/3 of the world’s population has no access to surgical care and to encourage people to get involved in meeting that need.

Since its beginning in 1978, Mercy Ships has performed over 79,000 life-changing surgeries in some of the world’s poorest countries.