NORTHWEST ARKANSAS — In 2024, a documentary will come out about two Arkansas women who died from breast cancer that spread to other parts of their bodies. Danielle Keller is in charge of making and directing the documentary “So Much More.” The movie shows how Kelli Davis and Lisa Cooper Quinn not only fight for research on metastatic breast cancer but also deal with it themselves.
“Research on breast cancer that has spread doesn’t get a lot of money. So, it just became something I cared about. “These women became my close friends and people I will always love,” Keller said. Metastatic breast cancer, or stage 4, is when the cancer has spread to other parts of your body. After she met Quinn and Davis in 2017, Keller began filming.
“It’s hard to see people going through chemo and treatment,” she said. She said that she and her crew had to stop because it was too much. They finished filming in 2019, but Keller said she needed to find an editor who didn’t know any of the women to finish the movie. They had to raise money to make this movie and pay for the editor, cameramen, and travel costs.
They also used their own money and money from some partnerships. Quinn worked as a teacher at Arkansas’s Springdale High School. Keller says that Quinn is friendly, loves people, and is always the life of the party. Davis worked at a Walmart in Arkansas. She used social media and travel to tell people about metastatic breast cancer.
Keller says that Davis is passionate, smart, and wise. She was able to film Davis while she was in hospice in West Virginia. “I put my camera phone and camera down and just sat next to her bed. Then I took her phone and read her text messages. People just told her they love her in social media messages, which I read to her,” Keller said.
Keller said that this was one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do, and the whole process of making this documentary was very sad. “We met a lot of people with stage four breast cancer who didn’t live in northwest Arkansas. And we became very fond of these people. We got to know them, and then we watched them die,” Keller said.
Quinn died of breast cancer that had spread to other parts of her body. She was 41 years old. Keller says that it broke her heart and the hearts of everyone on the film crew. For this documentary, she went to other parts of the United States. During her travels, she met someone who was in high school when they were told they had breast cancer that had spread to other parts of the body.
“On the day she was supposed to go to her senior prom, she had a double mastectomy. We met her on our travels when she was about 22 or 23 years old. And I remember that we just left. It makes you feel bad in your stomach and heart, and you wonder, “What can I do?” Keller told us.
Keller got depressed and anxious while filming, and she had to go to therapy because of it. However, she says that it changed the way she sees the world. “It has taught me to value life more. It’s helped me learn more about cancer. It has also made me realize that life is short and that we need to live it to the fullest, whether that means spending more time with our families or doing something else. She will enter the movie in a number of local and regional film festivals, and the first showing will be in Northwest Arkansas.
Keller wants to use this movie to raise money for research into metastatic breast cancer and get people to watch it on a streaming service. Keller said, “I’m ready for people to meet these beautiful, strong, and wonderful women who changed so many lives.” Keller says the show will make people laugh, teach them something, and break their hearts.
“Honestly, this movie about two women who have already died can be really hard to watch. We want people to learn, though. “We want people to know what this disease is and to do something about it,” Keller said.