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Just three weeks after Rev. Joseph Lowery (pictured right) led the chant “Fired up! Read to go!” at the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, his wife Evelyn Lowery (pictured left) has suffered “irreversible damage” from a stroke, reports the

The Lowery family issued the following statement:

“After many consultations with top medical experts, the Lowery family is saddened to learn that the stroke suffered by our beloved Evelyn has caused irreversible damage.

“As a family of faith, we remain by her side in constant prayer, knowing that God is in control, while also fully understanding her medical condition and that the team of experts have done all that they can do,” the statement continued. “Though she remains in critical condition, we are blessed that she is still with us.”

Evelyn Lowery and Rev. Lowery got married on April 5, 1948.

A civil rights leader in her own right, Evelyn Lowery founded “SCLC/W.O.M.E.N. (Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now) in 1979. The group focuses on AIDS prevention, historic documentation and preservation, health and welfare, and programs aimed at strengthening black families,” the AJC reports.

Rev. Lowery last energized the crowd at the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington last month. Sitting straight and proud in a wheelchair at the base of the Lincoln Memorial, Lowery told the crowd “we ain’t going back.”

“We come today, 50 years later, it’s even stranger that there are men and forces who still seek to restrict our vote and deny our full participation,” Lowery said. “Well, we come here to Washington to say: We ain’t going back. We ain’t going back. We’ve come too far, marched too long, prayed too hard, wept too bitterly, bled too profusely and died too young to let anybody turn back the clock on our journey to justice.”

Watch Rev. Lowery’s remarks below:

We send our prayers and thoughts to the Lowery family.