LESTER HOLT INVESTIGATES THE LINK BETWEEN POVERTY AND CHILDHOOD ASTHMA
Dateline's "Breathless" Airs Sunday, January 5 at 7pm/6c
NEW YORK - December 20, 2013 - On Sunday, January 5 at 7pm/6c, NBC's Dateline will air "Breathless," a story of injustice that investigates the link between poverty and childhood asthma. More than seven million children suffer from the disease nationwide, and a disproportionate number of them are poor. Lester Holt takes a personal journey navigating the frontlines of the fight against asthma. For more than a year, Dateline closely follows the struggles of two families as they battle their landlords in a desperate effort to provide an asthma-safe environment for their children.
Dateline goes undercover to investigate why children living in poverty are more likely to suffer from asthma than children living in more affluent neighborhoods. "Breathless" reveals stark details on how the illness is exacerbated by circumstances such as poor housing conditions, and landlords who delay addressing severe asthma triggers such as mold and roaches.
Brooklyn resident Rossana de la Cuadra and Javier Sepulveda, a father of four living in East Harlem, each share their young daughters' daily challenges with the life-altering disease. "Breathless" documents both families' actions as they fight for changes that will help their children. Hidden cameras document the neglect they encounter such as the inability of a landlord to respond to an emergency repair; workers applying temporary fixes to housing problems, instead of addressing the actual cause; and workers who are at times helpless themselves in trying to make the required fixes.
"Dateline's "Breathless" is part of a year-long NBC News "In Plain Sight" project reporting on poverty in America, supported by the Ford Foundation. InPlainSight. NBCNews.com will further investigate the relationship between poverty and asthma with original online content. In addition, Datelinenbc.com will feature behind-the-scenes video of Lester Holt and asthma expert Dr. Matt Perzanowski as they visit different locations in New York City to discuss specific asthma conditions, and a web extra video of Lester and Ray Lopez, an asthma activist from non-profit LSA Family Health Service, as they explore how poor families are affected by the disease.
David Corvo is the senior executive producer, Liz Cole is the executive producer and Lester Holt is the primary anchor of "Dateline." Allan Maraynes is the senior investigative producer and Izhar Harpaz is the producer of "Breathless." Barbara Raab is the senior producer of "In Plain Sight." Follow "Dateline NBC" on Facebook and Twitter @datelinenbc.