Esthetician Dawn DaLuise had a successful salon in the hip West Hollywood area of Los Angeles, where she treated such A-list celebrity clients as Alicia Silverstone, Christina Ricci, and Jennifer Aniston, as well as many others. However, she says her life took a turn for the worse when someone began stalking and harassing her. She says the situation grew more and more serious until she woke up one morning to a group of armed police officers at her door, who arrested her and charged her with solicitation of murder.
"I had no intention to kill another human being," she says.
Dawn spent 10 months in jail, during which time she began to experience worrisome gastrointestinal symptoms, such as rectal bleeding and diarrhea. Doctors told her she would need a colonoscopy to determine the cause of her symptoms, however the procedure was not offered at her jail facility and she would be added to the very long wait-list for transfer.
After finally being acquitted of the attempted murder plot, Dawn was released from jail and was able to undergo the colonoscopy screening. Almost a year after she began experiencing symptoms, she finally received a diagnosis: colorectal cancer. Dawn says she was told that if she had been diagnosed sooner, she could have avoided the chemotherapy she now needed to undergo.
Family medicine physician Rachael Ross, who used to work within the prison health care system, explains the difference between jail and prison and how access to health care can differ depending on where an inmate is placed:
Dawn says she is currently focused on getting well and rebuilding her business.
"Being targeted by a stalker can happen to just about anyone," she says. "This just happened to go completely awry."