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Ear to the Ground

Fighting Corporations and a Death Sentence

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Posted on Oct 29, 2011
Facebook / Miran Istina

From Miran Istina’s Facebook page.

Four years after a health insurance company decided her life wasn’t worth saving, 18-year-old Miran Istina, who suffers from myelogenous leukemia, has dedicated her struggle to the global fight against the corporate control of politics.

When it became clear that her middle-class parents could not afford the bone marrow transplant that could save her, Istina spent three years traveling the United States in search of a sympathetic health care provider. No one came forward. Now, with little hope of survival, she has committed what remains of her life to the San Francisco chapter of Occupy Wall Street, which she hopes can prevent a prevailing combination of money and politics from condemning others to death. —Alexander Reed Kelly

The Guardian:

After repeated refusals to offer her treatment, she said: “I decided I was going to spend the rest of my life doing whatever my heart wants.”

... She said: “The corporate influence on politics influences just about anything that happens, seeing as politicians write the plans that healthcare has to follow. It directly links the fact that insurers only pick and choose those who are actually worth it [financially]. I just happen to not be one of the ones they wanted to be around much longer.

… “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.”

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By ardee, January 16, 2012 at 5:30 am Link to this comment

Nigel Nix, January 14 at 2:32 pm

“Any nutter with a cause” seems a bit strident to me. Limiting the scope of protest is not your function is it?

The OWS movement, as a highly publicized and well known occurrence, would certainly attract those with causes and a desire to right wrongs ( as they perceive them to be) , dont you agree?

There is much wrong with our democracy, with our culture as well I think. If some use the “notoriety” of OWS to their own purpose, well then they do. That neither denigrates nor weakens what OWS is trying to accomplish, at least that is the way I feel.

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By Nigel Nix, January 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am kind of confused by how diversified the comments have become. Wasn’t The Occupy movement originally concerned with monetary problems and corporate corruption but now it seems to be a banner for just about any nutter with a cause. I am 100% behind the international occupy movement but if we lose focus on the original reason for protesting then it will just become an over-diluted hogwash theme which nobody will take seriously.

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By GlenYouGo, November 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

Dionne, You are absolutely correct about Mandey. I have known her for the last 7 years and she does not have, nor has she ever had any type of cancer. She has struggled through a lot of story telling over the years. Past stories have included multiple abortions, sexual abuse, being sold into sex slavery. None, of that is verifiable and her parents say it’s not true. And the part about traveling the country the last 3 years looking for a sympathetic health care provider? ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. She has lived in central Oregon the last 3 years and hasn’t gone anywhere until this last year when she took a road trip with her friends and ran out of money in SF. I know her parents and her family. This is just the latest in an attempt to grab people’s attention. having said all that, she has a wonderful soft heart and genuinely wants a cause to fight for, so there she is…

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By ardee, November 3, 2011 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

Dionne, November 3 at 1:07 am Link to this comment

No Ardee, I don’t have any facts about this.

As I thought.

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By Dionne, November 3, 2011 at 1:07 am Link to this comment

No Ardee, I don’t have any facts about this.  I don’t actually know anything.  When I read this article, I realized that the medical facts didn’t ring true, so I started reading through Ms. Istina’s entire facebook page—going back 4 years.  She talks about everything.  She seems to be a very creative, artistic, complicated young woman.  She talks about poetry, politics, religion, her pro-life activism, detox and addiction recovery, cutting, quitting smoking, complex relations with her family, a car accident, food poisoning, etc.  But she never mentions cancer at all.  Since she is an open book on everything else, it would be very odd not to mention that one important thing, even though another more private person might not. I could be wrong on all this, but I’m afraid I’m not.  The reason this bugs me so much is that there really are many insurance horror stories in this country and I would not like to see the movement discredited by an unverified one.

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By ardee, November 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

Dionne, November 2 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

There are a lot of terrible true health care stories in the US. Sticking to the truth would be a powerful indictment of the system.  I am convinced that this story is NOT one of the true stories.  Miran Istina is her pseudonym.  Mandey Tewalt is her name. Do some fact checking.

Now this is interesting. Not for the reasons you might conjecture but because this poster claims to have the facts yet refuses to share them…If you have the story share the damn thing. In the immortal words of that famed philosopher and judge of character, Bugs Bunny,“What a Maroon”.....

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By Dionne, November 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

There are a lot of terrible true health care stories in the US. Sticking to the truth would be a powerful indictment of the system.  I am convinced that this story is NOT one of the true stories.  Miran Istina is her pseudonym.  Mandey Tewalt is her name. Do some fact checking.

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By berniem, October 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Unfortunate but true that until the “powers” that be, AKA elected members of the duopoly and their puppet masters and disaster capitalists/fascists are confronted with violence and retribution, nothing will change. Just as has been seen historically as well as recently in the ME, power will resort to any means to sustain itself and will not alter course until coerced and defeated. #OWS et. al. is just beginning and will eventually escalate in violence until revolution occurs or the agents of the status quo figure that they can bamboozle the masses into relenting by throwing them a few crumbs, ie, the end of the ‘Nam fiasco or the Watergate betrayal. This country was spawned from greed, bigotry, and intolerance and we the people have been fooled into believing that any number of laws and constitutional amendments were something other than words on a page subject to interpretation by the same elements that caused the words to be written in the first place. Those in charge and the system which sustains them will remain in charge until, again, unfortunately, until forcefully removed! FREE BRADLEY MANNING AND TIM DECHRISTOPHER!!!!!

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By Textynn, October 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A good friend of mine just gave birth to a dead baby. The cord wrapped around the baby’s neck three times. The mother did not gain weigh properly, the full term baby was very small.  The mother, on state health care did not receive a single ultrasound. A very cheap procedure that does not even require a doctor or a hospital.

This is what happens when we don’t take care of women in our culture.  These anti choice people never bitch about the fact that we let people die and suffer everyday. In fact it is the same people that are taking a woman’s right to chose who are denying living people and wanted developing babies access to health care and a single quality of care.

These people controlling the country and this medical nightmare millions have to deal with are nothing but sociopathic garbage and we must see mentally ill sick people for who they are no matter how much money they have, how well spoken and nice looking they are, and how well versed they are in throwing around insults and degrading justifications for these wealth amassing policies.  We have been trained to respect all authority no matter how sick and corrupt. We are like the child victims of pedophiles.  Stupidly we allow ourselves to be destroyed, abused, degraded, and murdered.

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By prisnersdilema, October 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

This is what we are up against….a killing machine that thrives on the blood of others,
whose goal is to turn death into profit

...the insurance companies are enjoying record profits, each dollar represents the pain
and misery of some one…..

They will lure you with slick adds during open enrollment but once they have you you are
forgotten, operating in vilolation of the law, their profits insulate them from either
government action or lawsuit…shifting there infrastructure overseas, decimating their
professional work force to cut their costs they have destroyed medicine..

Each year 500,000 of you die from routine medical mistakes, while more now die of
prescription drug overdoses than street drugs…

They poison the minds of evryone through media they own to fund disinformation
campaigns against anyone who would threaten their empire of blood…

They have created a holocost against everyone in this country…

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By Fibonacci65, October 30, 2011 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

Dear god, what a brave and courageous young woman.  But no, we are not better than this—yes, as individuals we may be, but she did not find any of us in her search for medical care, no one stood up for her, no reporter wrote her story for help, no TV or radio show tried to help, not one person. She is putting the mirror to our faces, and we should all be ashamed.  I think ardee and EmileZ are better, but not the majority of Americans.  The same thing was said when we allowed the New Orleans people to suffer, as too many still do.  We are not better.

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By AKdispatch, October 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My God.  If I didn’t have the will to fight this before, I sure as hell do now.

Miran, you are a true hero.  The rest of us just aren’t worthy.

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By darkcycle, October 29, 2011 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

Yes, we ARE a better people than this. Corporations are NOT better people, though they are the only ones that count anymore.

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By bluesman, October 29, 2011 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Courageous young woman. We could all learn a thing or two from her.
Let’s see if the usual trolls come out and badmouth her or the article- I dare you!
I will pray hard for you, young lady.

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By AliveInAmerican, October 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Someone needs to contact the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in SF.  If they can’t help her find someone who will treat her… no one can.

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By ardee, October 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

I simply cannot put to words my shame for my nation and my sorrow for this brave young woman.
Surely, in the richest nation on earth, there must be some way to save her.

I join EmileZ in offering my marrow should it be needed. But, as the article plainly shows it is the damn money, always the damn money.

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By EmileZ, October 29, 2011 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

I’ll give you my marrow if it is possible. Truthdig has my permission to contact me and my email.

I guess that is not not the issue. It is the health insurance companies refusal to pay, but if it ever comes down to finding a donor…

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By gstoddard, October 29, 2011 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

We are a better people than this!

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