BLOG: Stories Behind the Fight for Medical Marijuana

By: Sophie Stone, Deputy Press Secretary

March 15, 2016

Today, Governor Wolf met with advocates in order to urge the legislature to pass medical marijuana legislation. We should not deny doctor-recommended treatment that could help people suffering from seizures or cancer patients affected by chemotherapy. It is long past time to provide this important medical relief to patients and families across the commonwealth.

Take a look at some of the stories of people who could benefit from medical marijuana.

Garrett’s Story

By: Christine Brann, Garrett’s Mother

christine-and-garrett“Our son, Garrett, was born healthy, happy and we even coined him the ‘textbook baby’. As the baby brother to his sister, he received a lot of attention from me and my husband and his then 4 year old sister. When he was just one year old, he was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, an intractable epilepsy, and we slowly saw the seizures take away the developmental milestones he had gained. His seizures sometimes lasted more than 30 minutes, causing many trips and stays at the hospital. We’ve tried approximately 10 different pharmaceutical drugs and special diets. Unfortunately, we are running out of options, and running low on time. My son needs one more medical option. Medical Cannabis could make all the difference in his life.”

Marksen’s Story

By: Maria Belkadi, Marksen’s mother

marksen-belcadi-3“My son Marksen was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. He has always had difficulty with various behavioral issues since that time, but in the last year his condition has worsened greatly. He has become so violent, toward himself and others, especially us, his family. Our son has been to the hospital at least 50 times in the last year, between emergency room visits to gastrointestinal intestinal doctors, to his autism specialist. We’ve tried various medications with numerous side effects, with little relief. Our son suffers daily, without resolve. What are we to do? Medical marijuana seems to be our only hope in helping our son. ”

Luke’s Story

By: Luke Shultz

“I’ve been prescribed narcotics and other pain meds for decades. It’s been the only viable option to manage my chronic pain. But it came with a price to my body. I now suffer from additional ailments due to the damage from those drugs. I often feared what I would do if access to the narcotics was suddenly denied. I could not tolerate the horrors of opioid withdrawal while still needing something to relieve my pain. Access to medical cannabis will mean that my treatment options will be expanded and I can focus on improving my life, rather than fearing the need for a deadly choice.”

Lorelei’s Story

By: Tom Nadzam, Lorelei’s Grandfather

tom-nadzam“Every time I leave my granddaughter I fear it will be the last time I see her. Will a seizure take her before we are together again? I made a promise to myself and to her that I would fight until she got the medicine she so desperately needs and deserves. With a terminal diagnosis myself, my time is growing short. It may already be too late for me but I will never break my promise. I will fight until my last breath to see that she has every opportunity to have the best life possible.”


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