Coronavirus: Hayley Wickenheiser begins personal protective equipment drive in Toronto

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TORONTO — Hayley Wickenheiser can’t believe how quickly her drive for personal protection equipment has come together.

The Canadian hockey legend, Ontario premier Doug Ford and an army of volunteers joined forces at a storage facility in Toronto on Saturday to collect, organize and then distribute badly needed medical equipment to front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Oh, it’s amazing. Eighty volunteers from all walks of life, most people who didn’t know each other since Monday,” said Wickenheiser on speakerphone as she continued to work with volunteers. “Major business folks, lawyers, doctors, the Ontario Medical Association is helping. We got a truck here from Barrie that brought massive supplies down.

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“Just Canadians coming together. That’s just what this is. It’s the grassroots.”

Wickenheiser’s medical training in Toronto was paused when her teachers joined the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19, so the Hockey Hall of Famer launched a social media plea for personal protective equipment last Sunday.

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Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds amplified her request to his 35 million Instagram followers, boosting her call for 13,500 masks, 13,500 gloves and 1,350 chemo gowns.

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