Canada to Key West: 2,500-Mile Urban Hike Kicks Off to Highlight Effects of Extreme Weather on PWD


Canada to Key West: 2,500-Mile Urban Hike Kicks Off to Highlight Effects of Extreme Weather on PWD

This article was originally published here.

June 21, 2019

Today Doctors Marcalee and Craig Alexander, founders of Canada to Key West will begin a 2,500-mile journey from Canada to Key West to raise awareness on the impacts of extreme weather for persons with and without disabilities, to inspire collective action now.

Think about how scary it is watching the news reporting a hurricane, or flood heading your way. Now think about it and imagine having no way to escape it.

The Alexanders believe this issue, along with climate change, is amongst the most important facing the Earth. So, they decided to give up their jobs, and walk the roads for the cause. Along the way, they will use the power of social media to highlight the need to move to a greener existence with more accessible communities, and to find persons with disabilities whose daily struggles are exponentially increased with weather extremes to share their stories.

“Extreme weather is increasing in regularity. These days polar vortices, and bomb cyclones are part of our vocabulary. Tremendous floods and fires, things that should happen every 100 years, are now happening every month.” says Marcalee Alexander. “But we never see what happens to people with disabilities in extreme weather. Instead, we see images of dogs and cats being rescued. People with disabilities are very vulnerable in extreme weather events. They need special planning, and accessibility needs to be taken into account during the events.”

Marcalee is a physiatrist and her husband Craig a psychologist who met while caring for people with spinal cord injuries. As weather disasters and climate change are accelerating, they realized action is necessary to address extreme weather and disasters and the impact on persons with disabilities. The Alexander’s believe doing this work is the most important way they can spend their time.

To take action, they ask you to join them in person, as they walk through your area or online by participating via social media. They are seeking persons with disabilities or their friends & families to share the impacts of extreme weather and climate change on their lives. They will be visiting rehabilitation hospitals along their route and working with community organizations to raise awareness of the steps people need to take to prepare for disasters.

The highlight of the journey will be September 22, 2019. The Alexander’s will inaugurate Day for Tomorrow on this date in Washington, DC with a walk from the FDR monument to the mall outside of the Museum of Natural History. There will also be groups in places such as New York, Moshi, Tanzania, Orlando, and Houston, holding events. Day for Tomorrow is proposed as “people day”, a parallel to Earth Day when people will come together in community to plan for extreme weather and celebrate climate friendly practices. As Marcalee Alexander states, “The Earth will be here, regardless of what society does it. It’s time to for us to realize now that weather disasters and changes in climate are impacting more than just polar bears and we must take action”.

The Alexanders are fundraising for Portlight Disaster Strategies and United Spinal Association as part of their walk and are also working to develop Telerehabilitation International, a nonprofit organization which will provide volunteer telerehabilitation consultations to individuals with disabilities in disaster areas.

Follow the Alexanders on the Canada to Key West website and social media, join the walk when they visit your city, form a team, or just express your support for this worthy cause by donating.

About Canada to Key West
Canada to Key West consists of a 2,500-mile walk to raise awareness about the impact of increasingly frequent extreme weather events on persons with physical and cognitive disabilities, the kickoff date will be on June 21, 2019, the day of the summer solstice.

Canada to Key West co-founders, Doctors Marcalee and Craig Alexander, will walk through Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Richmond and Charleston amongst other towns and cities to raise awareness of the issues affecting persons with and without disabilities in extreme weather and climate change.

If you would like more information about Canada to Key West, please call:

Guillaume Viallaneix

MedTech Momentum

(407) 960-2994