Cidney Alexander showed up on the sweltering hot Saturday, to walk the nearly two-mile walk-a-thon route. She’s a teacher in Philly, but lives in New Jersey — and traveled all that way to support the Consortium. She credits the Consortium with offering her medical care during the pandemic when no one else would.
“This was the only place that I could get vaccinated,” she said. “I came over from Pennsauken, New Jersey, to get vaccinated. That’s how important it was.”
Ijjae Hill also traveled to the walk-a-thon, from Chester, where she’s pursuing her doctorate in physical therapy at Widener University. She’s witnessed health disparities among the residents of Chester and Philadelphia.
“But really, when they have doctors and healthcare workers that are committed to their health and that they have the resources that they need to succeed, then they have a little bit more of an equitable health experience,” she said.
Edward Jelani DeBrady, a cancer researcher who lives in Germantown, carried a sign at Saturday’s Walk-a-Thon reading, “I want to live.”
He said he’s been inspired by the work of Dr. Stanford, who was recently appointed to lead the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Region 3 office. DeBrady plans to one day work as a physician, too.
“I believe that health is wealth, and we have to really take the reins on our health in this country, in this city,” DeBrady said. “We have to save our own communities.”
Organizers of the walk-a-thon plan to make it a yearly tradition.