It is 1919 and Elizabeth Hughes, the eleven-year-old daughter of America's most-distinguished jurist and politician, Charles Evans Hughes, has been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. It is essentially a death sentence. The only accepted form of treatment - starvation - whittles her down to forty-five pounds skin and bones. Miles away, Canadian researchers Frederick Banting and Charles Best manage to identify and purify insulin from animal pancreases - a miracle soon marred by scientific jealousy, intense business competition and fistfights. In a race against time and a ravaging disease, Elizabeth becomes one of the first diabetics to receive insulin injections - all while its discoverers and a little known pharmaceutical company struggle to make it available to the rest of the world.