Reyna Wences: without papers, health insurance and without fear

Reyna Wences is undocumented and has no health insurance. She had a bicycle accident last September, was hit by a car and ended up in hospital. Read more to find out how she copes with it.

Reyna Wences is 21, is undocumented and is not afraid.

Since arriving in Pilsen when he was 9 years old, has had traumatic experiences, but with the support of his family and Latin Women in Action, has exceeded and is reborn in the spirit intact and active voice.

To Wences, no health insurance has been a source of constant stress.

His strategy to avoid the problems associated with lack of insurance seems simple: stay healthy by eating healthy, getting enough sleep and exercise.

But sometimes, can not take care of everything.

She had a bicycle accident last September, was hit by a car and ended up in hospital. Fortunately, at that time studying and so their medical costs were covered by the university.

This trauma was the only one that has passed since his arrival Wences United States.

In fifth grade, she was the victim of sexual abuse.

She was afraid. Knowing nothing of law, he believed that if she reported, her family would be deported.

He said nothing to anyone for long.

A couple of years later was accepted by the prestigious Walter Payton High School, had to study until two or three o'clock on most days.

Despite all obstacles, Wences got good grades and high scores on standardized tests.

To this day, is very grateful for the opportunities he's had, but she knows she is lucky, and this quality of education is not accessible to almost any of its neighbors in Pilsen.

When it came time to apply to universities, could not join the same schools as their peers because they had no papers.

As if these difficulties were not enough, a fight Wences added to its long list of problems which had to deal with every day: came out and announced to his friends and family she was a lesbian, a topic still considered taboo in much of the Latino community.

Finally, his patience and fortitude were broken. Two days after turning 18, once took about 40 pills.

I wanted to die, but was unsuccessful.

Her family took her to the hospital believing that she vomited because of an infection and was treated by a physical problem, not the real reason for it.

After the incident, contacted Latin Women in Action, and finally spoke openly about what he had tried to do.

Again, she understood that access to psychological therapy was not available to all mental health centers in Pilsen and Little Village were small and lacked resources to treat the population of the area.

Thus, began to engage in political struggle, specifically in the battle to pass the Dream Act nationwide.

It was a long and exhausting struggle that young immigrants ultimately did not win.They were devastated.

But despite losing that race, Wences believes that it was a victory of the national community focused on the struggle for health insurance for all.

"This is now my country," said Wences.

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