Hayley Wickenheiser is a renowned Canadian hockey player and five-time Olympic medalist. While she is known as one of the most talented female players in the world, her passion and dedication extend far beyond the sport.
Wickenheiser, along with certified heartthrob and fellow Canadian Ryan Reynolds, has teamed up with Canadian organization Conquer COVID-19 to support healthcare workers fighting coronavirus on the front lines.
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Conquer COVID-19 is an organization made up of doctors, business leaders, entrepreneurs and volunteers coming together to ensure that healthcare professionals have the necessary access to masks, gloves, and other equipment that is essential for treating patients while also hindering the further spread of coronavirus.
Every Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm, at Toronto’s XYZ Storage, Conquer COVID-19 will be hosting a PPE (personal protective equipment) drive for workers who require it as well as individuals who would like to donate.
Wickenheiser’s efforts started as a simple call to action on Twitter in which she described the “desperate pleas from (her) frontline friends in Toronto” who were in dire need of PPE equipment.
2/2 if you are a business or person in Toronto and you can help, I will personally pick up these items myself w/ proper distancing and PPE. I don’t have much to offer in return, maybe a signed jersey, a smile and guaranteed good Karma. If you can help email: [email protected]
— Hayley Wickenheiser (@wick_22) April 5, 2020
She requested donations for 1,350 N95 masks (68 boxes), 13,500 surgical masks (135 boxes), 13,500 gloves (135 boxes) and 1,350 chemo gowns.
Wickenheiser was seeking assistance from local Toronto businesses that would be willing to help and even went so far as to offer to pick up the items herself personally — while maintaining proper physical distancing, and wearing PPE herself, of course.
Wickenheiser’s efforts were supported by actor Ryan Reynolds who explained to his massive following in a separate tweet that he would send fans personalized videos, sign whatever they want, or send Deadpool bobbleheads or movie memorabilia to those who contributed to Wickenheiser’s initiative.
Read @wick_22’s message below. But first… People who help Hayley get this critical PPE gear will get something awesome from me. I’ll send you personalized videos. I’ll sign whatever you want. I’ll send Deadpool Bobbleheads and/or movie memorabilia. https://t.co/RxwPWFt8CW
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) April 6, 2020
The response was more than she ever could have imagined, and in a tweet the following day, Wickenheiser expressed her shock and gratitude by saying, “Hi everyone, damn.. If I could hug you all right now I would!”
Since then, the pair has continued with its efforts to collect PPE equipment along with Conquer COVID-19, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
In a recent Instagram post, Wickenheiser stated that, in just five days, Conquer COVID-19 has raised over $1 million along with millions of items.
“I love Canada and I love this team,” Wickenheiser states in her post.
“It’s the most important team I have ever played on. It’s saving lives.”