FROM CANCER TO COURT
BEING ONE'S OWN ADVOCATE AGAINST SEEMINGLY MORE POWERFUL ENTITIES.
• 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.
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 Gender: Universal
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: self-published
Publisher: Self published
Year Published: 2016
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?
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.
Cancer. Legal, Healthcare, Patient Advocates, Women, Minority
Hard Copy Available
Information not completed
Mature Audience Themes
Information not completed
Plot - Other Elements
Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Twist
Plot - Premise
Main Character Details
Name: Laurel Walters
Key Traits: Confident,Desperate,Engaging,Outspoken,Heroic,Underdog,Aggressive,Religious
Additional Character Details
Name: LAWYER JO
Key Traits: Empathetic,Masculine,Outspoken,Modest
Additional Character Details
Name: DOCTOR B
Key Traits: Confident,Villainous,Complex,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Unapologetic,Sophisticated
Additional Character Details
Name: Defense Lawyer M
Key Traits: Villainous,Badass,Aggressive,Confident,Desperate,Unapologetic
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.
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.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
Yes it does depict the story properly.
Draw of Story
A life and death struggle.
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.
Similar Films/TV Series
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.
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.
Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming
WORK IN PROGRESS
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.
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.
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.