Our dear friends, Jay and Courtney Smith, relocated their family to Colorado from Georgia, not for love of the Rocky Mountains, but for the sake of their daughter Marlo. When Marlo was six she was diagnosed with a refractory, "catastrophic" form of epilepsy known as Doose Syndrome. The effects were devastating.
Marlo’s drop seizures caused her to lose all muscle tone, almost instantaneously, collapse and strike whatever is near her. If she was lucky, it was just a new bruise. All to often, it was a head injury, coupled with a new gash to her face, a broken tooth, or another black eye. However, the most devastating component of her seizure disorder, the one resulting in the most long term damage, is the frequent sub clinical seizure activity that occurs in the background. Uncontrolled, this seizure activity eventually induces permanent brain damage that will progress to irreversible mental retardation, psychosis, and eventual death.
After her diagnosis, Marlo tried six medications, the ketogenic diet, and had multiple hospital admissions in an attempt to control her seizures. None of these treatments worked for her and she continued to decline. Jay and Courtney were forced to make a decision that would uproot their family but would potentially save their daughter’s life.
The Smiths with their five children, Lofton, Marlo, Elise, Barret and Archer, uprooted their lives in Georgia and settled in Colorado so that Marlo could begin treatment with Cannabis Oil in July 2014. The cannabis oil extract was the first treatment that showed any persistent & prolonged improvement in Marlo's drop seizures. Before treatment with the cannabis oil, Marlo had previously failed three pharmaceutical medications, 3 experimental protocols, was maxed out on three very harsh pharmaceutical medications and was continuing to have 20-30 drop seizures every day. She had lost the ability to read or attend school.
Now, with the cannabis oil, Marlo can routinely go weeks without drop seizures rather than 30 she was victim to while being treated in with pharmaceutical medications. In addition, Marlo was able to completely ween off of the very severe medications she was previously prescribed. Cannabis oil saved Marlo's life.
Since the passage of HB-1, the Smiths have been able to move back to Georgia and Marlo is receiving her cannabis oil treatments in the comfort of her own home. Marlo is now back in school, has started to read again, and is on her way to the "normal" childhood that every kid deserves. This would not have been possible without the passage of HB-1 and it is critical that all children suffering from epilepsy receive the best treatments available to them.
Marlo will continue to be our inspriation as we reach out to help as many children and families with epilepsy as possible.
Oil for Epilepsy’s mission is to provide the necessary resources that will allow physicians, families and patients to properly administer cannabis oil treatments for those suffering from epilepsy and severe seizure disorders. We will achieve this mission by building a coalition of physicians that are dedicated to the advancement of cannabis oil treatments, while simultaneously providing patients and their families with the resources and financial support to ensure access to this life saving treatment.