Front line emergency workers, health care workers, nurses, doctors and more people helping those who are sick during the coronavirus pandemic are having issues finding personal protective equipment (PPE) worldwide. That's also the case in Canada.
On April 5, Canadian Olympic legend Hayley Wickenheiser tried to help solve this problem by asking her Twitter followers to let her know if they could help. If you didn't know, the five-time Olympic gold medallist has a kinesiology degree and is currently in medical school.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Hayley Wickenheiser (@wick_22) April 5, 2020
"After desperate pleas from my front line friends in Toronto, I have decided to put an ask out," she wrote. "These items are not for my use at all. I'm not seeking cash, rather these items."
She then told readers she needs the following:
- 1,350 N95 masks (about 68 boxes);
- 13,500 surgical masks (about 135 boxes)
- 13,500 gloves (about 135 boxes)
- 1,350 chemo gowns
"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," she wrote. "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@example.com."
Ryan Reynolds, who has played superheroes on screen several times, then swung into action himself, boosting Hayley's tweet on his own account.
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
"People who help Hayley get this critical PPE gear will get something awesome from me," he wrote. "I'll send you personalized videos. I'll sign whatever you want. I'll send 'Deadpool' Bobbleheads and/or movie memorabilia."
Through their efforts, they got involved with Conquer COVID-19. The organization will work with Hayley to host a PPE drive each Saturday. Those who want to get involved can drop items off at XYZ Storage at 459 Eastern Ave. in Toronto from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday during the coronavirus pandemic.
— Hayley Wickenheiser (@wick_22) April 7, 2020
And true to her word, Hayley has spent much of the last few days driving around the Greater Toronto Area, picking up PPE for our courageous health care workers. They've collected thousands of masks and other equipment already!
Thanks to the incredible support of Hayley Wickenheiser (@wick_22), Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) and cars provided to us by @VolvoCarCanada, we collected five full Volvo trunk loads of PPE for healthcare workers. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/74FI8A6Acy
— Conquer COVID-19 (@conquercovid19) April 7, 2020
We're thrilled to see how Ryan and Hayley have worked together to make a difference here. PPE is critically needed for health care workers to protect them during this crisis right now, and if you're able to help, please pitch in!
As of this writing, the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine says there have been more than 1,400,000 COVID-19 cases in 184 countries and regions. Nearly 300,000 people have recovered from the illness, which has been responsible for more than 80,000 deaths worldwide. Canada currently has more than 17,000 COVID-19 cases.