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Judy Shepard Urges Passage of Hate Crimes Law

Reggie Cervantes: Desperate for Health Care

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NOW on the News
6.29.07

NOW on the News with Maria Hinojosa

Reggie Cervantes: Desperate for Health Care

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Related Link

NOW: Interview with Michael Moore

Moore and Cervantes outside the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
Moore and Cervantes outside the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
Reggie Cervantes, a 9-11 volunteer emergency responder featured in Michael Moore's new film "Sicko" says she's desperate for health care. Cervantes, who traveled to Cuba for Moore's new film about health care in America, says she was forced to seek medical treatment in Havana because she could not afford it in the U.S. As criticism mounts that ground zero rescue workers were not sufficiently protected from toxic pollutants, Cervantes told NOW: "We're sick, we're dying, we're begging for help."

Cervantes says she suffers from pulmonary ailments, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other problems stemming from her time at ground zero.

Interview Excerpts

"I walked in with a dust mask, but within minutes of using it, it was clogged between the humidity of the breath on one side and the debris and the dust and the pulverized stuff in the air on the other."

"We down-spiraled into absolute poverty where you wonder—my children were two and four—'how am I going to buy milk, how am I going to try to pay for daycare to find a job.' I'm facing catastrophic debt."

"I found it hard to believe that this small, little island 90 miles off the coast of Miami would take a little Puerto Rican girl from the lower east side. It's surreal."

About Reggie Cervantes

Reggie Cervantes worked as a volunteer emergency medical worker at ground zero in the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the twin towers. Cervantes says she suffers from a number of respiratory problems, as well as post traumatic stress disorder, due to the time she spent at the site. Cervantes—who worked as a volunteer emergency medical technician for nine years—travelled to Cuba with filmmaker Michael Moore to receive medical attention. She now lives in Oklahoma City with her two children.




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