As adults, we have the right to choose our treatment options when it comes to healthcare. For a child, however, neither you or your parents have much choice in the matter. If parents go against doctors wishes in the treatment of their child, the can face child endangerment and neglect, loss of custody, and worse. In the fight for cannabis treatment, a family forced to face the dire consequences of choosing between what doctors tell them, or what they know to be right shares their story with the world.
In May of 2012, then 7-year-old Mykayla developed a cough, body aches, fever, night sweats, and a rash on her legs. When her family took her to the doctor, he suspected strep throat and put her on antibiotics. Her condition only worsened. Her second doctor found a “basketball” sized mass in her chest pushing against her internal organs.
Mykayla endured spinal taps and bone marrow biopsies before finally being diagnosed with aggressive T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
The painful path
Chemotherapy failed to treat the leukemia, so doctors decided they wanted to blast her entire body with radiation and perform a bone marrow transplant. However, the mass was so large that doctors refused to sedate her for risk of death from pressure on her esophagus and heart.
Faced with their daughter suffering one of the most painful medical procedures one can possibly endure, Mykayla’s parents refused. During her chemotherapy, they chose to treat her with cannabis oil and a healthy diet, and decided to continue this course of treatment instead.
In rapid fashion, her tumor began to shrink, and Mykayla was soon in remission. Almost four years later, she is still cancer free. She is the youngest patient in Oregon to receive cannabis for her condition.
Mykayla’s mother credits cannabis with saving her daughter’s life, but in the beginning, she had to fight to get the treatment her daughter deserved. Mykayla’s biological father, Jesse Comstock, feared that his daughter would become addicted to marijuana and worried about the effects on her brain. Her step-father, Brandon Krenzler, was enthusiastic in how quickly her use of cannabis baked into brownies using cannabutter or in pill form brought her out of her pain and depression.
Their first doctor at Legacy Emmanuel’s Randall Children’s Hospital opposed medical cannabis, and so her mother, Erin, changed doctors. Associations like Leaders of the American Academy of Pediatrics drafted and signed a resolution stating their opposition to medical marijuana use for children.
Dr. Sharon Levy of the academy stressed that “marijuana isn’t medicine“. Dr. Stephen Sallan of the Dana Faber Cancer Institute in Boston also believes that “pot does not cure childhood leukemia”.
The powerful truth
However Mykayla is just one of thousands of cancer patients who have seen fantastic results using whole plant extracts of cannabis, and the numbers are growing daily. When the government itself owns patents on a medicine it says is not a medicine, and pharmaceutical companies make medicine from a plant that “has no medical value“, how do we not stand up and fight for the truth?
This little girl is, and she even made a video in 2014, almost 2 years after her ordeal, to share her story with the world. If you want to know more about her, and her victory, you can follow her on Facebook or on their website: www.bravemykayla.com.
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