NAME: David Chickadel
[T. Chickadel,]a sharp-witted and fiery AIDS activist who founded the first Philadelphia support group for AIDS patients, died of the disease May 11. He was 35. Chickadel, who lived in Center City, was diagnosed with AIDS Related Complex 5 1/2 years ago. Most people with AIDS die within two years of diagnosis, but Chickadel fought off his death with his will, said close friend Rosina Rucci.
Source: Loretta Tofani, Inquirer Staff Writer More than 150 family members and friends attended a Mass last night in memory of David Chickadel, 35, a well-known AIDS activist in Philadelphia who died May 11 of complications resulting from AIDS. Chickadel had been a radiology technician at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Two of his friends, Anne Greenberg and Bill Randall, spoke of Chickadel at the Mass at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, on 13th Street near Chestnut. "David and I led very differentPublished on 1988-05-27, Page B07, Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)
Perhaps more than anyone else, David Chickadel can be called the founder of We The People. In 1987, along with his close friends Bill Randall and Terry Dillon, David announced at a Philadelphia City Council hearing on AIDS that in the year of the bicentential celebration of the U.S. Constitution, he wanted everyone to remember that We, People with AIDS, were citizens too. He created the name, We The People (originally, WTP was 'We The People/People with AIDS/ARC Coalition of Philadelphia), and was our strong leader up to his death only a year later.
In addition to his work in creating We The People, David also was one of the first Philadelphians to recognize the potential of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, ACT UP. Along with Bill Randall, David Fair and other AIDS activists, he put together the very first ACT UP demonstration in Philadelphia. Shortly before his death, he worked with state and local officials to design the Pennsylvania Special Pharmaceutical Benefits Program, the state AIDS drug assistance program that provides free access to medication for PWAs without insurance.
David's personality and single-minded commitment to the rights of people living with HIV disease set a tone for We The People that we still struggle mightily to hold on today.
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Date of Birth: 4/17/1953
Date of Death (delete if non-applicable): 5/11/1988
Age at Death (delete if non-applicable): 35
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His friends include: (type your name here, or names of others) David Bertugli
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