About The Founders
"We share a passion for the Earth. Inadequate attention is paid to the current & future impacts of climate change and extreme weather and how it is and will affect the health quality of life of mankind."
The History of Sustain Our Abilities
Dr. Marcalee Alexander is a physiatrist and Dr. Craig Alexander is a rehabilitation psychologist. After working for 33 years in rehabilitation and having difficulty trying to have professionals attend to the threats of climate change with regards to people with disabilities, Dr. Marcalee Alexander decided traditional academic channels were insufficient to raise awareness.
Thus, on June 21, 2019 the Alexanders began a walk from Campobello Island in Canada to Key West, Florida to raise awareness regarding climate change and disability and bring together professionals and persons with disabilities in community regarding this important concern.
Along the way, events included multiple grand rounds at academic medical centers, a community walk in New York City with a presentation at the Oculus of the World Trade Center and a walk through the city of Philadelphia with an event at the Love Statue. In Washington, DC the first Day for Tomorrow event was held on the National Mall.
In 2020, the walk was halted in Rocky Mount, North Carolina due to Covid 19. The mission transitioned to a virtual world. Sustain Our Abilities became a 501C3 nonprofit in 2019 and the Sustain Our Abilities YouTube channel was developed. In order to promote green healthcare, Dr. Marcalee Alexander edited the book Telerehabilitation: Principles and Practice with assistance from many advisory board members. Dr. Alexander also became Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Climate Change and Health.
In 2022, the Alexanders’ awareness-raising walk was renamed The GRAHAM (Green Route Aiding Healthy Adaptation and Mitigation) in memory of the untimely death of Graham Alexander. As SOA continues its focus on disability and climate change, we also place a special emphasis on the benefits of a healthy environment and working together in community to promote education about climate change, environmental justice and quality of life for all.