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Frederick Co Mother Fighting for Medical Marijuana for her Children
Updated: Monday, February 10 2014, 05:07 PM EST
A Frederick County mother hopes to treat her special needs sons with medical marijuana.
Shannon’s twin sons, Nicholas and Byron, were born in December of 2010. She and her husband thought the babies were healthy after their birth but soon started to notice signs that something may have been wrong. One of the babies, Nicholas, started moving his arm in a strange repetitive movement that alarmed them.
Shannon says when doctors examined him, they found that "the structure of his brain isn’t right and they were talking about medical terms I have never heard of and all this stuff, my heart just sank."
Doctors performed more neurological tests and determined the unfortunate truth, that their children’s brains were deformed. Miller-Dieker Syndrome was diagnosed in both babies.
"It means there is not enough protein for brain formation so the brain is smooth instead. Without the detail, the children heave really bad seizures," explains Shannon.
The boys suffer several seizures a day and must survive on feeding tubs. They need around the clock medical care, which requires the need to hire help.
The medicine they take controls the seizures, but they cause other serious side effects, such as rages or sluggishness. They also are addictive. And they don’t even help that much.
Shannon explained further, "Watching your kid have a seizure is a really terrible experience. We’re used to it now. If there’s a seizure, do this do that, but there’s a pit in your stomach that says this makes things worse each time."
But Shannon believes there is one thing she could give her children that might help them and could possibly stop the seizures.
"Medical marijuana is saving the lives of children with epilepsy. I want to save more lives and want to help in doing that."
Shannon is now championing the cause of medical marijuana for children in Maryland.
"I have seen children who are going to die, survive. I have seen children who are having hundreds of seizures a day, go down to a few or none. You can’t argue with that."
However, she is still prioritizing her time on her children first before politics. "They’ve already outlived their life expectancy for Miller-Dieker Syndrome,” says Shannon, “it’s two and they are three."