ON: Facility Offers Medicinal Cannabis That’s ‘Life Changing’ For Six-Year-Old


Touring the ABcann Medicinals marijuana facility in Napanee, guests wear full body coverage and undergo sanitizing through ozone and air showers, swiping in and out of each room with an electronic key card – A lot like entering some sort of top-secret laboratory.

But for six-year-old Gage and his mother, Kelly, nothing about this facility should be top-secret. In fact, Kelly hopes that in telling her son’s story, more people will see the value of medicinal marijuana and break down the stigma surrounding it.

“We’re trying to change the way people see it… to have it more accepted,” said Kelly, whose last name is being withheld to protect the privacy of her son.

“For people who have loved one’s that are sick, [I want them to] not be hesitant about trying cannabis. I want it to be available as everything else is available, every other medication. I want it to be an option.”

And for good reason. Kelly has witnessed the positive effects of cannabis first hand, and she has also dealt with the stigma that surrounds its use as a medicine. Her son, Gage, suffers from a neurological disorder called lissencephaly, as well as a rare form of epilepsy and cerebral palsy. By the time he was four years old, he was having hundreds of seizures on a daily basis. He and his parents visited many doctors, tried numerous medications, surgeries and treatments, and Gage was still suffering. That’s when Kelly found some information on medical marijuana use and started to look into it.

“I saw documentation on a parent giving their child cannabis. I thought ‘Oh my gosh, who gives their kid pot!’” Kelly said, candidly, noting that, despite what many people may assume, Gage does not smoke marijuana – Kelly extracts the medicine from pure buds into coconut oil, which is given to Gage via a feeding tube.

“And then I thought. ‘Well, why not? Well what do you have to lose?’ If someone tells you that your child is going to die from epilepsy, you’re going to try anything. You would sell everything you own just to get your child help.”

After struggling to find a doctor who would prescribe cannabis for Gage, who was four years old at the time, Kelly was able to order the marijuana, prescription in hand. Although it took a few days for the effects to show, the positive impact it’s had on Gage and his quality of life are undeniable.

“He had literally hundreds of seizures. Daily. He had breathing problems, and gagging all the time… We were told that he could pass away from the seizures because it’s debilitating. He’s already delayed, so having the seizures just regressed him even more. If he’d learn anything, he’d lose it,” she explained.“But now, just look at him.”

Gage sat on the floor in an office at ABcann on Monday, Aug. 15 as Kelly addressed the media as part of the facility’s media tours. He was rolling balls across the floor to play with those around him, and playing with interactive apps on an iPad.

“He’s alert. He’s engaged, and he’s social,” she said. “He’s doing things he’s not supposed to be doing. He’s going to school, he’s going into grade one… it’s just amazing.”

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Napanee Facility Offers Medicinal Marijuana That’s ‘Life Changing’ For Six-Year-Old
Author: Kingston Heritage
Contact: Kingston Region
Photo Credit: Reuters
Website: Kingston Region