Why We Are Marching to the Finish Line for Melanie

Recently, our friend, Melanie Shouse lost a long battle with breast cancer after missing out on critical treatment because she, like thousands of others, could not find affordable health insurance.

Melanie did everything she could to fight for health care, not just for herself, but for all of us. President Obama, who knew Melanie as a volunteer on his campaign, said: “She was fighting that whole time not just to get me elected, not even to get herself health insurance, but because she understood that there were others coming behind her who were going to find themselves in the same situation and she didn’t want somebody else going through that same thing.” It was a long road for Melanie, but she never gave up.

A lot of us are frustrated that, after mobilizing for over a year to reform health care, rein in Wall Street, create good jobs, win workers’ rights, and combat global warming, we are still waiting for the change we voted for. But we’re not giving up either. A group of Pennsylvanians, some with health care issues of their own, decided to march 135 miles from Philadelphia to Washington in honor of Melanie, carrying her message to the Members of Congress who need to hear it the most.

We’ll arrive on February 24th, just before President Obama’s Health Care Summit. So, as the summit begins we’ll be there to tell lawmakers enough is enough! Members of Congress have had plenty of time to discuss and debate health care over the past year. 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 we voted for!

We’d like you to meet us as we march to deliver Melanie’s message to Washington. You can join us for part of the march or for an event along the way. Our route and a list of the events we have already planned can be found here. Check back often as we are adding events.

We’d especially like you to bring us your stories about the need for health care reform, which we will take to the members of Congress we meet. Or even better, you can join hundreds of people for the last mile of the march to the Capitol. (Join us at our staging area Union Station at 12:30 pm. RSVP here).

You can follow our progress us on-line at www.melaniesmarch.com and on Twitter (we’re tweeting from HCANPA and using the hashtag #melaniesmarch). And please show your support for our march by taking action in support of health care reform or making a donation in support of the march itself.