CLEVELAND — Several organizations are holding a overnight rally and march to fight the lead crisis in Cleveland.
Black on Black Crime, Inc., Euclid NAACP, CLASH and Inner City Republican Movement are just some of the organizations that are expected to attend the overnight rally.
Attendees plan on setting tents up along the sidewalk in front of City Hall, aiming to bring awareness to the lead crisis residents of Cleveland are facing.
For residents like Darrick Wade, the crisis hits far too close to home. Wade's son died due to lead poisoning in 2007.
Wade said his son's symptoms started when he was young, with aggressive behavior in his teens, followed by more serious health problems.
“At 14, he had liver problems. At 16, there were kidney problems. By the age of 19, he had an enlarged heart," Wade said.
After his son died, an autopsy showed his cause of death was liver failure caused by lead poisoning. That is why Wade attended the overnight rally.
"What I went through on the day that my son passed away, I would not want any other parent to experience,” Wade said.
Two studies conducted by the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western Reserve University showed a quarter of kindergartners in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District begin their education with a history of elevated lead.
Earlier this month, members of the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition introduced the group’s 33 recommendations on how the city could create, implement and later fund a program to greatly reduce the number of the city’s children being exposed to lead, the toxic heavy metal linked to developmental and neurological problems.
The plans intend to hold landlords and in-home daycare's responsible for making sure their buildings are lead safe certified in the near future.
The rally began in front of Cleveland City Hall Sunday evening at 8 p.m. and will end Monday at 12 p.m. after the group greets city officials with their intentions Monday morning.