Nationwide Children's Patient Serving as Ohio's 'Champion Across America'

March 6, 2009

Childrens 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 Childrens Miracle Network program, Champions Across America, presented by Walmart and Sams Club. The program brings attention to the important work being done at childrens hospitals by honoring remarkable children like Kimmi who have triumphed despite severe medical challenges.

In 2006, Kimmi became the first patient at Nationwide Childrens 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 childrens 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 Childrens 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 Childrens Miracle Network hospitals each year throughout the United States.

Since 1987, Childrens Miracle Network and Wal-Mart have worked together to help children by raising money for childrens hospitals. Walmart and Sams Club associates, customers and members have raised and contributed more than $460 million for childrens hospitals, with more than $400,000 benefiting Nationwide Childrens Hospital.

Over the past two decades, Childrens Miracle Network, its hospitals and especially the children treated have found a very special place in the hearts of Walmart and Sams 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 Childrens Miracle Network
Children's Miracle Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for childrens 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, Sams Club and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report ‘s 2018-19 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.4 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at NationwideChildrens.org.