While the medical efficacy of cannabis is undeniable in this day and age, some stories that highlight how truly powerful it can be in the treatment of some conditions are almost unbelievable. The story of six-year-old Bella Chinonis of Grand Blanc, Michigan is no different.
Bella Chinonis could not walk, play nor even chew like other kids her age because she suffers from a rare genetic disorder called 1p36 deletion syndrome. Kidney failure and heart problems also play a role in the other medical issues, including developmental delays and limited speech ability, from which Bella suffers.
Previously, multiple prescriptions and seizures that lasted from 2 to 27 minutes were part of daily life. This had been her routine since birth, but a few months ago Bella learned to stand after beginning medical cannabis oil therapy. Now, her mother, Ida Chinonis, is hopeful that Bella will experience further improvements with the help of medical marijuana.
Bella receiving medical marijuana oil.
After introducing Bella to cannabis oil, her health started to take a turn for the better. Ida reported,
“She can stand now. She responds to voices and she loves the movie ‘Frozen. She didn’t do that before.”
After years on pharmaceutical medications that provided little symptom relief, Ida decided to explore medical cannabis. Research inspired Ida to search for physicians to recommend medical cannabis for Bella. In the state of Michigan, an adult needs one doctor recommendation to be approved for medical marijuana, but children need two. Ida stated,
“I did a lot of research. I was very hopeful it would help her.”
And it has.
Bella’s medical marijuana oil being measured.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states on their website that it opposes medical cannabis use for minors because of “the negative health and brain development effects of marijuana in children and adolescents, ages 0 through 21 years.”
However, Robin Schneider, a legislative liaison for the National Patients Rights Association, an organization that supports medical marijuana for patients, says,
“I find that doctors who attend trainings and classes understand the use of medical marijuana and support its use. I see what happens when children use medical marijuana. I don’t know scientifically why or how it works, but I’ve witnessed it.”
In 2012, there were an estimated 44 medical marijuana patients younger than 18 in Michigan. In under three years, the figure has more than tripled to 150 patients.
Bella’s medical marijuana oil.
Chinonis states that Bella’s seizures have reduced in number and her daughter is administered cannabis oil three times a day. Bella’s prescription calls for a specific strain which provides a precise combination of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Chinonis knows her daughter’s development will never equal that of other children and that she will forever require assistance with daily activities, but medical cannabis has greatly improved Bella’s quality of life.
Photo credit: Zach Wittman MLive