On Saturday, 6/18, the family of Marie Funk as well as community members and extended family from Put People First! PA gathered to pay her tribute and call attention to the negligence in her care perpetrated at the end of her life by Senior LIFE, a local healthcare provider for low-income seniors.
Senior LIFE repeatedly denied and/or delayed Marie’s care, despite being paid by both Medicaid and Medicare to treat her. Marie Funk’s daughter, Danelle Morrow, lead the vigil and spoke out about the mistreatment Marie and her family received at the hands of Senior LIFE. Members of PPF-PA, from Pittsburgh, York, and Philadelphia, joined Marie’s family and other local residents.
The vigil focused on bringing release and healing to Marie’s family and community and heat to Senior Life. “Over 200 families in Cambria County have loved ones under Senior LIFE’s care. The purpose of our action is to 1) raise awareness so that no one else has to go through this 2) get Senior LIFE to apologize and 3) get them to change the way they provide care,” remarked Danelle.
Gathered outside Senior LIFE headquarters at 4th and Broad Street, the peaceful crowd held signs, gave testimonials, sang, lit candles and released paper lanterns into the sky in memory of Marie and others harmed by a healthcare system that puts profit over people. Channel 6, WJAC as well as the Tribune Democrat were there to cover the story.
“She was my grandmother too. She loved everyone,” remarked Corey Butler, a friend of the family. “We’re fighting because my mom taught me my values and my morals. She wouldn’t have wanted this to happen to anyone else. If you’re out there suffering, we want you to know that we’ll fight for you too,” committed Danelle.