New York, NY
Julie gave birth to her son Liam on June 23, 2005. She described him as “perfect in every way… with a beautiful smile that touched peoples’ hearts.” Five months after Liam was born, he had his first febrile seizure. Two nerve-wracking and seizure-filled years later, Liam was eventually diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a rare and devastatingly debilitating form of epilepsy.
Over the course of the past six years, the Baums have visited five different hospitals, and Liam has tried almost a dozen extremely potent anti-epileptic medications, each causing its own devastating side effects. Side effects have ranged from shutting down Liam’s intestines, to making him irritable, tired and weak, to rendering him unable to speak or walk. His current drug regimen causes anorexia, increased ataxia, and bone loss and abnormalities requiring ankle surgery. Liam is unable to make it through a school day.
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive component of the Cannabis plant that has proven amazingly effective in stabilizing and improving the lives of Dravet children. Julie’s friends in Colorado and California, where medical marijuana is legal, have watched their children with Dravet grow stronger each day they use CBD, remain seizure free, and exhibit no negative side effects.
Julie “wants safe, legal access to this 2,000 year old plant,” but medical marijuana is currently illegal in New York State. Thus, Julie is forced to continue with Liam’s current medication regimen, despite its inefficacy and grave side effects. No parent should have to watch their child suffer when there is a safer and effective alternative.