The Extra Mile

It’s no secret. Legacy of Hope’s strength lies in our community connections. The relationships we’ve built have enabled the Emergency Patient Support Network (EPSN) to grow faster and stronger than we ever imagined. The EPSN began in February of 2020 and since then, Legacy of Hope has delivered fresh groceries to 5,229 patients and family members, including 1,110 children across all six districts in Philadelphia.

“The work of Legacy of Hope and their Emergency Patient Support Network is a shining example of community partnerships that will have an immediate, measurable impact for our patients and their families.”
Dr. Brooke Worster, Medical Director, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center

In addition to partnerships with Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and PENN Medicine social workers (to identify cancer patients in need), and with Brown’s Super Stores (ShopRite and Fresh Grocer) to prepare the grocery orders, Philadelphia’s police officers are a critical component of the EPSN. 109 different officers have delivered groceries to families throughout the city, acting as important liaisons between cancer patients and the Legacy of Hope team.

Case in point, Officer Javier Cortes. Officer Cortes has been on the Philadelphia Police force for 21 years, currently working as a Crime Prevention Officer throughout the schools in the 26th district.

“I love what I do because every day I get to make a difference,” says Cortes about his work with school students and in the community.

He was recently on a call when he ran into a family member of a constituent he hadn’t seen in some time. “I asked about him and they told me he was being treated for cancer, and having a really rough time. He’s been out of work and he’s struggling a lot. Not only was he having difficulty paying monthly bills, but he was struggling daily with putting food on the table for himself and his family.”

Officer Cortes remembered a conversation he’d had with Officer Ryan Barksdale—Community Relations Officer in the 25th district—about Legacy of Hope and the work being done with cancer patients. He reached out to officer Barksdale, the two of them connected

with the Legacy of Hope team and managed to deliver fresh, healthy groceries to the patient within 24 hours.

Says Officer Cortes, “I’m proud to go the extra step to push someone in a different direction to make their life a little better.”

We are proud to say that we have taken the extra step to welcome Officer Cortes to the Legacy of Hope team as our official Spanish Translator, helping us to effectively communicate with Spanish-speaking patients in all areas of the city.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Nia Andrews

Bio Coming Soon

Rebecca Blinn

Bio Coming Soon

Carol Sollenberger

Bio Coming Soon

Maree Lavo

Bio Coming Soon

Bryan Lathrop

Bio Coming Soon

Kimberly S. Reed

An award winning international speaker, author, corporate trainer and diversity, equality and inclusion executive, nationally recognized thought leader, expert, strategist and advisor to some of the world’s most influential organizations in global professional services, health care, financial services, consumer products and pharmaceutical industries.

Kimberly is a seasoned leader in transforming organizations into high-performing enterprises and challenging leaders to live without limits, with more than 20 years of HR, talent acquisition, and diversity & inclusion experience; successfully turning around troubled diversity practices by designing, building, leading, and shaping high-performing cultures at global organizations with robust strategies, global employee development programs and enterprise-wide initiatives that have increased revenue growth and organizational brand eminence.

Michele Redrow

Michele is a Director on the Legacy of Hope board and also serves on the Executive Committee.

mary chicorelli

Professional:  Mary is a certified city planner for Philadelphia, a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association as well as the Philadelphia Bar Association, and the Pro Bono Honor Roll First Judicial District of Philadelphia.

Bio: Mary’s insight into the legal world is invaluable to Legacy of Hope, both in keeping our daily operations moving fluidly as well as making connections for our patients and their families when needed.

“Michael reached out to me about 2 years ago through mutual friends. We worked together to help a woman with stage 4 cancer get her electricity turned back on after it was shut off during the winter. I’ve been 100% supportive of Mike’s vision since then.”

joseph ruggieri, jr

Education: Bachelor’s of Science from West Chester University in Management and Finance

Bio: As a member of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.’s upper management team, Joseph brings a wealth of knowledge regarding finances, management, team-building and planning to the Legacy of Hope board. Joseph linked up with Michael, our President, and Wells Fargo began supporting Legacy of Hope annually.

“My father passed away from what started as Colon Cancer in 2015. Cancer is horrible and if there is something I can do to help others impacted I would want to be a part of it.”

David April

David is the founder of the Fishtown Beer Runners, an organization with chapters all over the world based here in Philadelphia.

dr. kevin kelly

Dr. Kevin Kelly leads Legacy of Hope’s Scientific Review Board to seek out and support the most promising cancer research in Philadelphia using a merit-based system.  He is Jefferson’s Director of Solid Tumor Oncology.

greg garber

Greg Garber is the director of Oncology Support Services at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

Gina Mancuso

Gina’s experience as the very successful co-owner of CoreFitness, LLC coupled with her expertise in planning special events makes her the perfect Vice President for Legacy of Hope. With energy, passion, and drive that makes her seem superhuman, Gina’s connection to our mission is a personal one.

“Both my father and my dear childhood friend were diagnosed with cancer within 3 months of one another. They were surrounded and supported by friends and family throughout their battle and until their passing. No one should suffer through a diagnosis alone and, without Legacy of Hope, some people would do just that.”

Michael Rowe


Volatile Media Management’s Mover, Shaker, Changemaker Award – February 2017

Miles Mack Community Services & Leadership Honorable Mention – 2016 TJUH Emergency Department Technician of the Year, Physicians Choice Award – 2015

TJUH Emergency Department Technician of the Year, Physicians Choice Award – 2014


With his free time so limited, Michael manages to fuse his work with his other passion: running. Whether it is with the Fishtown Beer Runners, our own Team Relentless Hope, or his closest friends, Michael can often be spotted on the streets of Philadelphia keeping himself fit and active.