Sherrie Chapman has been in prison at California Institution for Women since 1981. Sherrie found lumps in both of her breasts in 1985 and tried to get a medical diagnosis for nine years. Since 1995, she has had two radical mastectomies and had a hysterectomy. During that time he has had to beg for pain medication. She is currently receiving only Tylenol for pain.
Amnesty International is focusing on Sherrie’s case because she has received such exteremely poor medical care. We know that women prisoners are constantly being mistreated, misdiagnosed and ignored. Sherrie’s situation is not unique. Another woman prisoner, Tina Balagno, died in Febrary 1999, one week after receiving compassionate release, as a result of bone cancer which was left untreated until it had metastacized to her breasts, spine and brain.
Sherrie, for your courage, determination and refusal to accept second-class medical care, we dedcate this issue of Fire Inside to you.