FROM CANCER TO COURT

LAUREL WALTERS

Book Cover

GENRE

DRAMA MYSTERY

    Core Theme

    BEING ONE'S OWN ADVOCATE AGAINST SEEMINGLY MORE POWERFUL ENTITIES.

    TIME PERIOD

    2000s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    ERIN BROCKOVICH

    CHARACTER LIST

    • LAURE:. 20S-40S. LEAD. INTELLIGENT, RESILIENT, RESOURCEFUL.

    • LAWYER JO: 57. OUTSPOKEN, EMPATHETIC, MODEST. HELPS LAUREL WITH HER CASE.

    • DOCTOR B: 53. VILLAINOUS, COMPLEX, EDUCATED, UNAPOLOGETIC. MISDIAGNOSES LAUREL'S CANCER.

    • DEFENSE LAWYER M: 44. VILLAINOUS, OUTSPOKEN, CONFIDENT, UNAPOLOGETIC.

    Logline

    A breast cancer patient must single handledly unearth the truth after her surgery has a mysterious outcome. Pressed for time, she makes a daunting decision risking her chance for survival and justice. The ensuing David and Goliath court battle is riddled with traps and tricks. She won.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Florida

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Self published

    Year Published: 2016

    Starting Description

    46 y/o woman has worked for decades helping patients but her world turns upside down when she gets a diagnosis of cancer. After emerging from surgery, the doctor is unable to provided answers regarding the tumors one of which has seemingly disappeared...or did it?

    Ending Description

    She finds out after a year that the surgeon had somehow failed to remove an aggressive tumor. Out of work with mounting medical bills, her finances crash with foreclosures looming. . She tries to find a lawyer and after several declines she fights and wins in a land mine court trial.

    Group Specific

    Cancer. Legal, Healthcare, Patient Advocates, Women, Minority

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Other,Tragedy

    Main Character Details

    Name: Laurel Walters

    Age: 46

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Confident,Desperate,Engaging,Outspoken,Heroic,Underdog,Aggressive,Religious

    Additional Character Details

    Name: LAWYER JO

    Age: 57

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Empathetic,Masculine,Outspoken,Modest

    Additional Character Details

    Name: DOCTOR B

    Age: 53

    Gender: Female

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Confident,Villainous,Complex,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Unapologetic,Sophisticated

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Defense Lawyer M

    Age: 44

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Villainous,Badass,Aggressive,Confident,Desperate,Unapologetic

    Development Pitch

    FROM Cancer to Court is a relatable journey of a healthy mid-forties woman who suddenly finds her familiar world upside down after working in the health field for decades. After a breast cancer diagnosis and a near fatal recovery she discovers the confident experienced hospital surgeon has elusive answers regarding her tumors. She runs into road blocks when she attempts to learn the truth from the other doctors who subliminally support their own. Single-handledly she persists risking her chances of survival and a year later discovers the surgeon had never removed a tumor. This is just the beginning of her nightmare. With crashed finances. looming foreclosures and legal hurdles, she struggles to find a lawyer to face this corporate giant. She does. However, the lawyer has a wife with terminal cancer and may have to drop her case. She eventually lands in court and juggles around a landmine trial riddled with traps and tricks. She emerges a winner and becomes a fierce advocate for other patients. This story is highly appealing and relatable to patients, minorities, families, breast cancer and medical errors victims, legislators, women and healthcare professional. Medical errors has been reported as the third leading cause of death in the US and the legal process for patients is highly controversial. The strong message is one of persistence, self-advocacy and survival and would be suitable for a TV adaptation series. Comparable films include Philadelphia.

    Genre

    DRAMA, SUSPENSE

    Brief

    Laurel's doctors discover that she has two tumors in her breast. She undergoes surgery, but the doctor cannot find one of the tumors. Another doctor does, and she sues for malpractice and must navigate her complicated legal case.

    Overall Rating

    FAIR

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: FAIR

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes it does depict the story properly.

    Draw of Story

    A life and death struggle.

    Possible Drawbacks

    No

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    A woman's fight for survival, physically and financially.

    Fanbase Potential

    No

    Awards Potential

    No

    Envisioned Budget

    LOW BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    ERIN BROCKOVICH

    What’s New About the Story

    A woman taking on the medical system to save her life. There could be a lot more information, background, and details about her and her fight.

    Lead Characters

    Laurel is resourceful while her doctor is shady and incompetent.

    Uniqueness of Story

    More information on all the characters and the proceedings would be a big improvement.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Justification

    There is not enough material here. We know very little about the protagonist and the people and corporations she is up against. It feels more like a segment in a news magazine show than a film or TV show in its own right.

    Tips for Improvement

    More information across the board. Characters who are more fleshed out, more background information, and some back-and-forth between her and the people/corporations she is up against.

    Brief

    A breast cancer patient must single-handedly unearth the truth after her surgery has a mysterious outcome. Pressed for time, she makes a daunting decision risking her chance for survival and justice. The ensuing David and Goliath court battle is riddled with traps and tricks. She won.

    What We Liked

    - A cancer diagnosis is devastating, and it can be compounded by dealing with the complex terminology, paper work, and treatments on top of the pain and effects on one's body. Laurel has the added difficulty of an incompetent doctor. She goes on the offensive, and is able to get on top of her disease, as well as her legal case. Years later, everything turns out well.
    - Film: Laurel's story would be a great movie because it has plenty of gravitas. There is a lot of inherent drama in a potentially terminal illness. With a strong character who gets stricken but overcomes the forces she's up against, it makes the story that much more compelling. Laurel's journey is what great dramas are made of.
    - TV: Laurel's journey is inherently worthy of the empathy that viewers would feel for her. All of the ups and downs make for good television with cliffhangers and a strong "need to know" element. Her strength and resolve in the face of a life-changing event such as this would be attractive to viewers.
    - Key points: Strong lead; A dramatic "curveball"; Legal battles; Emotional hurdles; David v. Goliath.

    Synopsis

    Laurel has a mammogram, then gets called back into the doctor’s office for an ultrasound. After the results come back, she is asked to come back in for a biopsy. Nervous, weak and dizzy, she gets through the procedure and is told by the radiologist that it is almost definitely cancer. She has another battery of tests and they find two malignant tumors. Both tumors are marked with clips. She meets with a breast surgeon, and a plastic surgeon. Laurel is devastated but her faith in God gets her through. After her surgery to remove the tumors, she notices that a lot of blood is draining from her surgical sites. At home, she’s glad for home cooked meals and uninterrupted sleep. Back at the doctor’s office, she is informed that they found one of the tumors in the tissue that was removed but haven’t located the second one yet.

    She has to undergo a second mammogram that her insurance won’t cover. This time it’s painful and Laurel is full of questions as to how they can’t find the second tumor. She is shocked and confused, and feels like she’s being experimented on but is told to move forward with the drug regimen. The plastic surgeon does a good job, although she is unable to get another MRI right away with the temporary implant because of its magnetic core. After many months of theories and unanswered questions, she is able to get the MRI, and they find the other tumor. Her world crashes as she will have to start the ordeal all over again. The breast surgeon had failed to remove one of the marked tumors and was incorrect in identifying which tumor was removed. Another doctor suggests that this must be a new tumor. Laurel is incredulous.

    It’s almost a year since the original surgery, and Laurel’s finances have collapsed. She sues the breast surgeon and rejects their push to send the case to arbitration, with a three person panel, instead of a jury. Also, there would be a cap on any payments from the doctor’s insurance company - and only under limited circumstances would she be able to take it to court. Caps also encourage low-ball initial offers from defendants. Years later, after an uphill battle, Laurel’s tests came back clear, and the legal case went well.

    About The Author

    Laurel grew up in Jamaica and learned to fend for herself at an early age after her parents died during her early teens. She migrated to the US and pursued a career as a Physical Therapist. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, her story became increasingly heart-pounding and complex after her surgery has an unexpected outcome which landed her in a bizarre court trial.