Director’s Statement

The Education of Dee Dee Ricks is the story of two very different young women – their unlikely friendship and their personal struggles to beat breast cancer. Dee Dee has plenty of money and gets the best possible care. Cynthia ultimately dies from her breast cancer because it was too advanced when she started treatment. The film lays bare the great disparity in health care between the rich and poor in America. Cynthia’s story is emblematic of the millions of poor people in this country who are uninsured and fighting a catastrophic illness. Access can mean the difference between life and death, as it did for Cynthia. Health care is not a medical issue- it’s a moral one. What does it say of us as a society if we let people die because they are poor? My great hope is the film highlights the injustice and inspires people to work for change.

Perri Peltz is a former news correspondent and long-time public health advocate who reported on health-related issues for NBC and CNN and has worked for the Robin Hood Foundation supporting organizations that fight poverty.

THE EDUCATION OF DEE DEE RICKS is directed by Perri Peltz; executive producer, Jane Rosenthal; producer, Lisa R. Cohen; editors, Arielle Amsalam and Geeta Gandbhir; director of photography, Tom Mason; original music, Michael Bacon. For HBO: supervising producer, Sara Bernstein; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

From Patient to Activist

As a cancer survivor, Dee Dee Ricks knows firsthand the pain, the trauma and the daily stress a patient endures. Now she’s helping others navigate their way through that maze.

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The Education of Dee Dee Ricks premiered October 27 on HBO.

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