These are the stories of different children, with different cancers, syndromes and conditions, from different parts of the country. Some are no longer alive. Some are still alive and still fighting. All of them have parents who have stopped at nothing to find something – anything – that could ease their pain and suffering, and, just maybe, give them a chance at a normal childhood.
10-year-old form of epilepsy that caused as many as 250 seizures a day. Seventeen medications later, his parents were able to get him a prescription for medical marijuana, and the electrical storms in Zaki’s brain subsided.
Hailey Pease was 7 years old when she was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and forced to undergo painful chemotherapy treatments that destroyed her esophagus and rendered her unable to eat. Her mother, Shannon Maxim, was scared of the social and legal consequences that would follow if she gave Hailey medical marijuana. When she finally decided to give it a try, she saw improvement in Hailey’s appetite and mood. However, it was too late. Hailey passed away July 2011.
causes the growth of non-malignant tumors in organs. The growths in his brain have led to autism, debilitating seizures and self-directed rages. After trying virtually everything else, his parents turned to medical marijuana, which has helped his seizures and self-destructive behaviors more than any other treatment.
7-year-old problems. Mykayla now takes a gram of cannabis oil daily to combat side effects of her chemotherapy, and her mother, Erin Purchase, credits cannabis with her daughter’s remission.
Mike and Kalli Hyde turned to high-CBD cannabis oil. Cash’s cancer immediately went into remission , and he started to live a more normal life. But a federal crackdown caused many Montana dispensaries to close and left the Hydes without access to the medication. Cash passed away in November 2012.
2-year-old Vivian Wilson has a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome, and has been prescribed barbiturates and benzodiazepines to stop seizures that have lasted as long as one hour. Vivian is the youngest medical marijuana card carrier in the state of New Jersey, but she has yet to try it. The Wilsons aren’t able to get the specific strain of marijuana they need due to a limitation in the state’s medical marijuana bill. Vivian’s parents have organized a lobbying effort to get the bill changed.
Sophie Ryan is 9 months old. Last month, she was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor that is inoperable. Her parents were told Sophie is too young to have radiation and the best traditional option for treatment is chemotherapy. Unwilling to put their baby, who just took her first steps, through that, Sophie’s parents have decided to try a holistic alternative approach to treatment, combining diet with plant-derived, medicinal extracts. You can track Sophie’s story here.
When Landon was diagnosed, he was given an 8% chance to live up to 48 hours. After a vigorous regimen that involved chemotherapy and radiation, Landon became “violently ill, was in intense pain, suffered nerve damage in his legs and went 25 days without eating.” His mother, Sierra, researched other options and decided to have him try cannabis oil. As soon as he started supplementing his treatment with cannabis oil, his platelet levels returned to the level of a healthy, cancer-free patient. Landon’s cancer is currently in remission.
Dr. Gupta is in the minority of healthcare professionals advocating for the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Many times, parents are left to research alternative treatments themselves after witnessing their child suffer through traditional methods with no improvements.
Many times, parents don’t discover the benefits of cannabis too late, and many times, they are faced with social and legal consequences when they do decide to give it a try. But we believe the unconventional courage these parents show – to do everything in their power to help their children, to throw the rule book out the window, and to go against what doctors say is “right” – is an empowerment to parents everywhere.
“The only thing that I look back and say I wish I’d done something different is I wish I started medical cannabis sooner, I wish I continued it, I wish I wasn’t so scared,” said Shannon Maxim of her daughter Hailey’s passing.
Being a parent is hard. Being a parent of a child with a fatal illness is the hardest thing any person will ever have to do. We want all parents who are faced with decisions about their child’s treatment, who have to constantly weigh the benefits vs. the risks, to know you have our support. If you have any questions about medical marijuana for your child, contact us today.