Leesburg, Georgia | Chance Henry is a 12-year-old boy living in Leesburg, Georgia, about 200 miles south of Atlanta. He began having seizures soon after he was born, around the six week mark. At years old, Chances mother estimates he has suffered from around 3,000 to 4,000 seizures in his life. Frustrated with expensive and ineffective medicines, Chase and his mother are looking to non-psychoactive CBD oil derived from the cannabis plant for treatment.
However, in the state of Georgia, the medicine that could help to improve Chance’s life remains illegal. Just this week Governor Nathan Deal all but threw away a proposed medical marijuana bill in the state. Rep. Allen Peake will be establishing a new bill that would allow possession of CBD oil in the future; that is if residents had a way to legally grow cannabis and extract the oils.
For now, Chance’s only option for legal treatment is the slew of up to 15 prescription pills he takes per day. His mother Traci is working furiously find a way for Chance to access the CBD oil that he desperately needs. Traci says, “It’s very hard, because I know the side effects to them. I don’t even see sometimes how he functions, but he’s always smiling, he’s a loving child.”
Chance’s mother says that his worst day resulted in 26 seizures within a 24 hour period. “The side effects are dizziness, nausea. We have to have him tested yearly for liver damage, kidney damage. And with the cannabis oil there are no side effects,” Traci says.
She began researching the life-saving cannabis oil around 6 months ago and is still waiting for the medicine. “I just never thought it was attainable. I didn’t know until I really started researching that in 24 states, it’s legal.” Traci isn’t alone in her search for a treatment, as many as 150,000 residents in the state are afflicted by epilepsy.
Traci and Chance have a long road ahead of them to pass this much needed, life-saving legislation. Support is growing in the state for access to the non-psychoactive CBD oil, but legislation is slow to catch up. Meanwhile organizations like Georgia Hope are doing what they can to increase exposure to the issue. Measures to help Chance and other children like him are will within reach, but it’s up to lawmakers use compassion and reason to pass new legislation.
If you’re a Georgia resident and would like to make a difference, you can email Governor Nathan Deal here.