Children’s Miracle Network has named Kimmi Desir, 13, of Reynoldsburg, OH, as Ohio's Champion Across America.
Kimmi, a sickle cell anemia patient, will join other child ambassadors from every state as part of the Children’s Miracle Network program, Champions Across America, presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club. The program brings attention to the important work being done at children’s hospitals by honoring remarkable children like Kimmi who have triumphed despite severe medical challenges.
In 2006, Kimmi became the first patient at Nationwide Children’s Hospital to receive a risky bone marrow transplant that cured her sickle cell anemia. Because only non-afflicted, full siblings are suitable for transplantation, only one in five children with sickle cell will find a suitable donor. Kimmi was fortunate to receive the transplant from her sister. Since then, Kimmi has become an advocate to lawmakers for support of the children’s hospitals that save patients just like her.
Kimmi and her fellow champions will travel from March 18 through March 25 – first to Florida for the Children’s Miracle Network Celebration event at Walt Disney World Resort, and then to Washington D.C. There, Kimmi will visit Capitol Hill to share her story of medical victory, representing the 17 million children treated at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals each year throughout the United States.
Since 1987, Children’s Miracle Network and Wal-Mart have worked together to help children by raising money for children’s hospitals. Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, customers and members have raised and contributed more than $460 million for children’s hospitals, with more than $400,000 benefiting Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
“Over the past two decades, Children’s Miracle Network, its hospitals and especially the children treated have found a very special place in the hearts of Walmart and Sam’s Club associates,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “Our support for Champions Across America builds on the emotional connection our associates have with the children cared for by these hospitals.”
About Children’s Miracle Network
Children's Miracle Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals. Each year, the 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. To learn more go to www.ChildrensMiracleNetwork.org.
About Philanthropy at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Wal-Mart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Wal-Mart Foundation supports initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. In 2007, Walmart, Sam’s Club and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.