Mary (Hilary Swank) is an overprotective American mother whose efforts to protect her son leads to tragedy: after pulling him out of school due to bullying and taking him on a trip to Africa, he dies of malaria. In the midst of her grief, she meets Martha (Brenda Blethyn), whose adult son has also just died of the same disease. As they bond over the joint experience of losing their only child, they also realize that their experience, so rare for Western parents, is one that many African families face every day. Battling their lingering grief and the strains on their marriages, the two work together to raise awareness of malaria, a preventable and treatable disease, while recovering their sense of purpose.
The film offers an inspiring template for overcoming loss, while showing how ordinary people can make a difference in influencing social policy and affecting positive change.