Today we are introducing several stories of children with severe medical conditions who have been helped by the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of their pathologies. Let us discover their life stories and testimonies, often through the voices of their parents.
The texts below are the result of translated extracts from cross-referenced sources, as research progresses. The list is by no means exhaustive, but it reflects a reality that is still unknown: the use of medical cannabis among children. Most patients and their families will turn, after these fantastic experiences, into ardent advocates for cannabis preparations to finally be an option for anyone with a medical need, especially children.
The current cannabis ban prevents medical use, research, and in some ways the dissemination of knowledge. It blames all the damage it causes to the substances themselves. Human rights are then only secondary and so are citizens and families of sick children.
It is time to question everything we think we know about cannabis and to examine the real results of its prohibition.
Mykayla Comstock – USA
At the age of six, in May 2012, Mikayla was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia, more precisely “acute lymphoblastic leukemia with T cells.” Finally, an explanation for her persistent fever, pain, pallor, skin manifestations and extreme fatigue. He was then discovered a huge mass in his chest (a mass of lymphoblasts). This was the beginning of a difficult journey for her, with operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions, which were mandatory.
In the USA, an adult patient can choose whether or not to undertake therapy, and determine which one. A child has no such right, nor do his parents. Parents are obliged to accept their child the only recognized treatments, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Parents who refuse this treatment for their child are deprived of custody.
So Mykayla must follow the protocol, i.e., five rounds of chemotherapy, the first four being very violent and the 5th “maintenance,” over a period of 2.5 or 3 years. From the beginning, her leukemia did not respond well to treatment, and the doctors were anxious.
Since the beginning, her parents wanted to obtain a card to access medical cannabis, which is authorized and supervised in Oregon. In this state, for a minor patient, two doctors’ approval is required. Mykayla was able to start using cannabis in July 2012, in the form of Rick Simpson oil (RSO), raw cannabis juice and marijuana in her food, in total two or three grams of THC-laden oil per day. She also followed an organic, vegetarian and low sugar diet.
As soon as she was treated with cannabis and started to use a vaporisateur Mighty, the benefit was immediately visible. Mykayla was able to eat again; she suffered less, seemed happier because she smiled and laughed frequently. And it was only after a week of treatment with THC-rich cannabis oil extract that doctors noticed that her leukemia was beginning to reignite. Today, she is doing well, still in remission and her parents are gradually reducing the amount of cannabis.
Lindsay Carter, Australia
After three years of “conventional” battle against a brain tumor accompanied by seizures, pain and nausea caused by chemotherapy, Lindsay and her family are turning to alternative cannabis-based treatment in the USA in 2014, in the hope of overcoming or stopping the tumor. The results were immediately very promising, with significant reductions in the size of her tumor. However, the financial cost of these trips quickly proved to be far too high.
“I would say that we have spent at least $65,000 so far, on three trips to the United States. This amount includes medical treatments and scans, housing, living there and traveling,” says Lanai, Lindsay’s mother. “Her tumor had halved in the USA where we spent most of 2014, and once back in Queensland it started growing again, growing by 4mm in seven weeks. We managed to stabilize it after the second trip to America, and on the third trip, we obtained a further decrease of 3mm in five weeks. We are fighting this tumor millimeter by millimeter.”
Lindsay, a 15-year-old teenager at the time, said in 2015 that community support had given him courage and that he did not understand why this effective treatment for his tumor was not available to him in Australia.
Since then, he and his mother have been actively advocating that bureaucracy no longer be a barrier to accessing cannabis-based treatment. “In the USA, Lindsay was able to be examined by a doctor and legally obtain her cannabis drug at a clinic in less than 24 hours.
Back in Australia, it was another story, but his case alerted the public to all those Australian patients who urgently need cannabis, and who cannot wait for years for conclusive studies to be done and for locally grown products to be allowed.
“When we are there, we have the support of an entire team of doctors with real experience in the use of cannabis and cannabinoids who think it can be a first-class treatment option,” she writes. “In the USA this medical team fully recommends and supports the treatment protocol that has given Lindsay maximum hope of being able to live a normal life – a hope he had lost for four years. However, every time we return to Australia, he is denied the potentially life-saving treatment.”
After long and hard battles, Lindsay was granted the right to receive the most effective drug to treat her condition in her country. Nevertheless, the procedures for importing his drug took an additional 12 months, and unfortunately, the barriers are still accumulating for Australian patients wishing to treat their symptoms or diseases with cannabis-derived products.