Meet the Children of the Mountains

Children in Central Appalachia struggle to overcome poverty, family struggles.

Inside a Hidden America

Photo: Isolated pockets in Central Appalachia have three times the national poverty rate, an epidemic of prescription drug abuse and the shortest life span in the nation. Diane Sawyer reports.
Photo: Courtney, 12, has two dreams: a house for her family and boots with a little fake fur worn by children she's seen on TV.
Photo: Angel, shown here with her daughter Mary, used to be addicted to drugs and would disappear for days at a time.
Photo: Courtney and her sister Sable live in Appalachia.
Photo: Dr. Edwin Smith's mobile dental clinic.
Photo: Shawn Grim, 18, is the star running-back for the Johnson Central Golden Eagles.
Photo: Shawn in the doorway of his family's trailer in Flat Gap, Ky.
Photo: Shawn's family's hollow.
Photo: Erica, 11, lives in Appalachia.
Photo: Erica, 12, and Diane Sawyer.
Photo: Erica cries after social services forces her mother, Mona, into rehab.
Photo: 18-year-old Jeremy decided to become a coal miner.
Photo: Jeremy shows Diane Sawyer the work he has to do underground
Photo: Diane Sawyer meets up with a group of miners working three-and-a-half miles inside the belly of the mountain.
Photo: Diane Sawyer is shown here with one of the many children of the mountains.
Photo: Isolated pockets in Central Appalachia have three times the national poverty rate, an epidemic of prescription drug abuse and the shortest life span in the nation. Diane Sawyer reports.
Isolated pockets in Central Appalachia have three times the national poverty rate, an epidemic of prescription drug abuse and the shortest life span in the nation. Toothlessness, cancer and chronic depression are rampant. For nearly two years, ABC News cameras followed four Appalachian children and their families and neighbors, each facing unimaginable obstacles.

ABC News' Diane Sawyer poses with 12-year-old Courtney, second from right, and three generations of mountain women. Courtney's grandmother, Dinah, far left, holds her sister Sable, 2. Also pictured are Courtney's mother, Angel, far right, and sisters Hannah, 7, and Mary, 11. In total, 11 people live under one roof.

Watch "A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains" tonight at 10 p.m. ET (ABC News)

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