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ATTENTION: Documentary filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart is looking to connect with people who have submitted their stories to We Are the 99 Percent. She would like to bring your stories to life in a new feature documentary film. You can contact her directly at email@example.com if you would like to know more and explore being interviewed on camera.
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I am the 99%.
My name is Olivia. I can’t hold a sign because I’m so little.
I was born with club feet. One was so bad, it was nearly upside-down. My feet have been stretched into place and casted into position every week since I was 3 weeks old. It really hurts. I’m 3 and a half months old now, so I’ve done that a lot. It costs about $500 each time. (You can see one of my casts peeking out under my dress.)
On March 21, 2012 I had my first surgery, because the stretching wasn’t working. That cost nearly $9,000, but if my feet don’t get fixed, I’ll never be able to walk.
Medicaid is paying to fix my feet. My Daddy is a disabled veteran, but his insurance won’t cover my feet. My Mom is trying to raise my 3 brothers and I while she wracks up student loans getting her college degree, because minimum wage isn’t enough to keep a roof over our heads.
WIC is paying for my formula, because Mom’s milk never came in. She feels kinda bad about that, but sometimes these things just happen.
I hear that some people want to get rid of Medicaid, the Pell Grant, and WIC, so that the 1% can have even more tax breaks. Well, I want to be able to walk. I need to eat. And my Mom would like to be able to provide for me better someday. I don’t understand why people want to take that away from me. What did I do wrong?