Former Arsenal star Kanu gets $125,000 to mend more hearts

Azimo, Europe’s leading digital money transfer service has raised more than $125,000 for the Kanu Heart Foundation (KFH). The charity, founded by world-renowned Nigerian footballer Kanu Nwankwo, helps children with serious cardiac diseases obtain life-saving medical treatment within and outside Nigeria.

Azimo has been raising money for KHF since January 2017 through its digital money transfer service. Every time an Azimo customer makes a transfer to Nigeria, the company makes a donation to KHF. With more than 40 percent of remittances to Africa originating from Europe and Nigeria the highest recipient of remittances in Africa, KHF will increasingly have more funds to pay for the treatment of children with heart-related problems.

“The firm’s donation to the Kanu Heart Foundation shows that Azimo really cares about the communities it serves, and it’s great to have them on board,” Kanu Nwankwo said while receiving Azimo’s donation at the company’s office in London.

Kanu, a former striker for English Premier League club Arsenal, set up the charity after suffering heart problems during his football career. Realising how lucky he was to have the means to get treatment, he vowed to help others with the same condition but without the financial capability to get treatment. Since he launched KHF in 2000, the Foundation has funded open-heart surgeries for more than 500 young patients in hospitals across the world.

“The Kanu Heart Foundation is important to me because most people in Nigeria and Africa can’t afford to even see a doctor for a check up, let alone find the money to pay for life-saving heart surgery,” said Kanu. “With my experience and privilege, I now want to help children and their families get the support they need for this medical condition, and we can’t do this without community champions like Azimo.”

Commenting on the donation and his support for the charity, Michael Kent, CEO of Azimo noted that Kanu was a great footballer in his playing days. “We are proud to be backing his Heart Foundation charity, which is providing life saving operations for children in need both in Nigeria and across Africa.

“His dedication to community connections and giving back to society is inspirational and chimes with our own company ethos of helping individuals support loved ones back home,” Kent added.

In September, the Foundation organised a charity match in London. Proceeds from the match will be used to fund heart surgeries for some of the over the 300 people on the Foundation’s waiting list. The Foundation is also working on setting up a Cardiac Specialist Hospital in Nigeria, which will offer free surgery services for children aged 1-12 years and charge highly subsidized fees for adults.