As a leader of the Black community in Quebec, Wilson Sanon has devoted his body and soul to the cause of sick children suffering from sickle cell anemia—a chronic orphan blood disease—and to helping their families. After his son Nicky’s sudden death, he felt it was important to create the Sickle Cell Anemia Association of Quebec in 1999 and has served as its CEO since. This former history student and graduate of UQAM’s public services administration program has spearheaded several projects. He is also a former member of the board of directors of Héma-Québec and Quebec’s hemovigilance organization. He has received many accolades for his various successes. Among his most significant achievements was organizing the first Canadian symposium on sickle cell anemia in 2007, which was paired with a benefit gala under the Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean’s honorary chairmanship. In 2015, he put in place a massage therapy program for children hospitalized with sickle cell anemia, which was implemented in Montreal pediatric centres. Meanwhile, 2016 marked the official launch of the neonatal blood-screening program for sickle cell anemia among all of Quebec’s newborns. In 2017, the Right Honorable Julie Payette awarded him a Meritorious Service Medal. In 2018, he won the Gala Dynastie prize for philanthropy. Later that year, he was also named a Knight of the National Order of Quebec.
Photo Credits: Kétiana Bello