When we first meet Dee Dee Ricks she is newly diagnosed with breast cancer. While breast cancer sucks for everyone who has it, in the grander scheme of things, Dee Dee was lucky. She had lots of money as a consultant to hedge funds, she had great insurance, she was able to get some great health care.
But cancer changed Dee Dee. She went from a woman who seemed very superficial and cared more about appearances than substance to a real crusader. Through her cancer her eyes were opened up to the differences in treatment for people with insurance and people without insurance. She decided to do something about it.
It’s like Dee Dee is two different people. She educates herself and decides to use her skills to raise money for a cancer center in Harlem that treats women without insurance. When she walked into the clinic and offers her help the director, Dr. Harold Freeman it looked like he was ready to cry. This is a man treating women who fall between the cracks and Dee Dee throws him a lifeline. It is quite a moving moment.
Dee Dee also meets Cynthia, a woman being treated by Dr. Freeman’s clinic. Cynthia gets diagnosed too late because she didn’t have insurance. Dee Dee and Cynthia women from very different backgrounds bond with each other over their cancer. They become sisters in the battle, and the battle makes Dee Dee rethink her life choices. Some things become more important than making money. She revisits all her life choices and decides to change her life in a way she never expected.
This is the story of how cancer changes a woman — for the better. It is very inspirational but is also a reminder to people to keep your eyes open at all times and don’t wait until you get a disease to notice what is going on in the world around you. It is directed by Perri Peltz a former reporter for WNBC News. The film airs Thursday (tomorrow) at 8:30pm on HBO.