Philadelphia, PA – On Wednesday February 17th at 12pm EST, hundreds of health care reform activists and supporters will kick off “March to the Finish Line for Melanie” – an eight-day march from Philadelphia, PA to Washington, DC in honor of one health reform advocate who recently lost her battle with breast cancer after her insurance company refused to pay for the treatment her doctors said she needed. Local residents are participating in the march and are available to the press.
During her illness, Melanie Shouse was a tireless campaigner for health care reform for all Americans, and the marchers will be bringing Melanie’s message to Congress that not one more person should have to suffer or die for lack of health care in our country.
The “March to the Finish Line for Melanie” group will arrive in Washington, DC the day before President Obama’s Health Care Summit. As the summit is set to begin, the marchers—and supporters expected to number in the hundreds—will be there to tell lawmakers enough is enough!
They will deliver the message that Members of Congress have had plenty of time to discuss and debate health care over the past year, and now it’s their job to make it happen. It’s time to get it done and get it done right. Congress must deliver the change people voted for.
The March starts with a noon rally at the Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia and proceeds through University City and Southwest Philadelphia, ending the first day with a vigil at Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park. The group will hold rallies in Wilmington and Baltimore and host meet-ups for local residents in small towns along the way. Supporters and press can track the walk online at http://www.facebook.com/l/950e4;melaniesmarch.com/. This website will be updated throughout the march with logistical information for the events and video from the marchers.
Members of the press are invited to join the group at any point along the route and interview walkers – some of whom have personal stories about the difficulty of securing access to affordable health care in America today. They will be accompanied by an RV with Internet access.
WHAT: “March to the Finish Line for Melanie” – A Walk from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. for Health Care Reform
WHO: PA citizens and activists from Health Care For America Now, Families USA, SEIU, Catholics United, The AME Church, Families USA, Health Rights Organizing Project Interfaith Worker Justice, National Physicians Alliance Pennsylvania Health Access Network, Philadelphia Unemployment Project, UFCW, Raising Women’s Voices (List in formation).
WHEN: February 17 to February 24, beginning with a noon rally in PA and ending in DC at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Starting point is Mother Bethel AME Church, 419 S. 6th St., Philadelphia
For more information: http://www.facebook.com/l/950e4;www.melaniesmarch.com.