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Donna O.

Syracuse, NY

Donna — a sixty two year old grandmother who worked in the Syracuse school district for more than 30 years — was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in her late fifties. One day at work, Donna realized she couldn’t hear her colleague who was speaking to her. Afraid and confused by her sudden hearing loss, Donna called her son to take her to the doctor; it was while walking to his car Donna collapsed and never walked again.

Donna has been living with Primary Progressive MS for ten years and suffers from constant pain. “I am in pain all the time, I can’t sleep at night, I can’t function through the day. It never stops,” she says. Donna was prescribed over a dozen narcotics to relieve her pain, but none of them helped. It wasn’t until trying medical marijuana that her symptoms became more bearable, and Donna was finally able to cope with her pain.

Donna currently lives in an assisted living facility where she was reprimanded and made to feel like a criminal for using the only thing that helps relieve her suffering. Donna has since stopped using medical marijuana out of fear of losing her housing and suffers in pain every minute of every day.

New York does not currently permit the medicinal use of marijuana, so Donna is forced to choose between breaking the law and losing her home or suffering with symptoms that could be dramatically eased if medical marijuana were legal. This is a choice no one should have to make.