Campaign for Compassion brings you a special treat in anticipation of Mother’s Day…
A day to celebrate moms in general, but to Elizabeth’s parents, a day to rejoice in so much more...
Hello. It’s me again, “Elizabeth’s mom”. Just shy of one year ago, I told the story of my little girl ("Awakening"). I was so excited that she had gone 23 days without a seizure and I thought I’d go insane if I didn’t share it. Although, it’s tempting to blast out a press release when you have news like this, I’m still in possession of an illegal controlled substance. In Pennsylvania, I’m still going to be considered a criminal, committing child abuse by administering this substance to my child. So here I am, hiding behind a computer screen, almost exploding with excitement, not being able to shout it from any rooftop.
It will be a year on Mother’s Day that Elizabeth finally attained almost complete seizure control. She’s only experienced a few small convulsions, due to switching products. When you’re stuck purchasing medicine from the black market, consistency can be a bit tricky.
You see, that illegal controlled substance is saving my child’s life. Many moons ago, my child was slowly dying before my very eyes, suffering from hundreds of life threatening seizures every single day, until I decided to become a criminal. I managed to find her what I believed to be the only option left, an extract of the Cannabis plant. This oil that I hide away in my refrigerator, save for twice a day when I nervously take it out and administer the tiniest bit under her tongue, is illegal to possess in the state of Pennsylvania.
I’m not certain just how many laws I’m currently in violation of, but I want to make something very clear, I don’t care how many laws I have to break to keep my child alive.
I will stop at absolutely nothing to save her, to spare her from any unnecessary suffering, what mom wouldn’t? Can we all agree that I should not have to look over my shoulder, risk losing custody of my child, or live in fear of prosecution for simply doing what any parent would do?
God gave me this child, or at least loaned her to me for a time. My job is to protect, to care, to provide for my baby, but if my state won’t allow me to administer the only medicine that has ever actually given us any degree of seizure control, then what choice do I have? Sure, I know what you’re thinking, move to a legal state. The thought has crossed my mind. As a mother of a special needs child, I assure you, it’s difficult to afford gas for the multiple doctor’s appointments we go to, let alone gas for a trip across the country, and that is just one small reason why moving is not in the cards for us.
I want to leave you with one final thought, or an imagination, if you will. Imagine for a moment that your child is dying. Imagine each night laying them next to you in bed and resting your hand gently on their chest so that you can feel their breath, knowing that they may begin violently seizing and their breath could be stolen forever. Imagine your child’s doctor’s eyes welling with tears as they tell you they don’t have any treatment options left. Just imagine.
Now imagine finding a cure. Imagine all these days of seizure-free bliss. Imagine the possibilities if we can continue to treat them without potentially having this medicine confiscated, or worse, this child taken away, because their mother is jailed.
“An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi