Teen denied cancer treatment finds her place at OccupySF

30 10 2011

From the Guardian (UK), 10/28/11.

As 18-year old Miran Istina puts it, she has been living on borrowed time since she was 14. Diagnosed with cancer, she was given just months to live after her health insurer refused to provide her with life-saving surgery.

After spending three years traveling the US in search of a health care provider who would treat her, only to repeatedly and ultimately come up empty, Istina was attracted to the Occupy movement because “she ties the corporate influence on American politics to the decision that has sentenced her to death.”

“The decision was absolutely influenced by some corporation or some bank saying, ‘we can’t afford her. She’s not worth our money.’ In end terms, corporate greed is going to cost me my life.

Occupy San Francisco protester Miran Istina stands outside the US Bank building on Market Street, San Francisco. Photograph: Martin Lacey

Occupy San Francisco protester Miran Istina stands outside the US Bank building on Market Street, San Francisco. Photograph: Martin Lacey, Guardian UK

“I used to be really upset about it. I’m not as much any more. I’m angry, for sure, but I think me being here might help it never happen again. That’s why I’m here. It’s that there are other people this is going to happen to if this movement doesn’t succeed and that’s not healthy. I’m done being the victim. However long I have left is dedicated heart and soul to this movement, no matter what it takes.”

She has immersed herself in the movement, becoming the chief media relations officer for Occupy SF and organising fundraising events around the city. On Thursday afternoon she led a CNN television crew on a walk through the camp, to show how they were living, explain their motives and refute claims that the living conditions are unsanitary.

She said of her new life: “My heart is finally satisfied.”

Full story at the Guardian.

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