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07/04/2022

Walmart Canada, Black Opportunity Fund, SickKids Foundation partner to fight sickle cell disease

The partnership will help the approximately 6,000 Canadians and their families affected by the disease offset treatment costs and access medication

Who: Walmart Canada

What: In partnership with the Black Opportunity Fund and SickKids Foundation's Black Experience @ SickKids, Walmart Canada will support health equity for the Black community, especially around improving outcomes for Black Canadian children impacted by sickle cell disease.

The retail giant is granting $212, 000 to establish the Sickle Cell Disease Patient Amenities Fund at SickKids. The fund will help families with treatment costs not covered by the government and support access to at-home medication through a SickKids-developed tech called a capsule shredder. The shredder will be distributed to 13 children’s hospitals across the country over the next five years.

"The donation from Walmart Canada will make a difference in the lives of hundreds of patients and families across Canada,” said Craig Wellington, executive director, Black Opportunities Fund, in a press release. “Our mandate is to raise funds from a wide variety of public and private organizations to improve the social and economic well-being of Canada's Black communities. We are pleased that Walmart Canada shares our vision." 

Added AnnMarie Mercer, chief people officer, Walmart Canada: "As part of our strategy to become a regenerative company, we will continue to address inequities within the Black community. We're proud of this partnership because it will make a difference. We will use our size and scale to improve health outcomes and help with medical costs for Black Canadian children affected by sickle cell disease." 

Approximately 6,000 Canadians—mainly of African descent—are affected by sickle cell disease. Patients’ blood cells are abnormally shaped, which causes difficulties passing through veins and organs, and causes pain throughout the body and damage to organs.