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VIDEO: Colorado Mom Fights for the Right to Treat 3-year-old Son With Cannabis

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VIDEO: Colorado Mom Fights for the Right to Treat 3-year-old Son With Cannabis

On September 30th of 2012, Colorado mother Sierra Riddle had her world turned upside down when doctors diagnosed her 3-year-old son, Landon, with T Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.

Within a month, Landon was introduced to an aggressive steroid and chemotherapy regiment that immediately went to work fighting his Leukemia, but left the brave young warrior suffering from the crippling side effects that come with such cancer treatments.

Still living in Utah, and undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy there, the toddler battled with bouts of intense pain, vomiting up to a dozen times each day, nerve damage in his legs, and a 25-day stretch where he was physically unable to eat.

Landon’s mother, a firsthand witness to her son’s chemo-fueled pain, nausea, and neuropathy, began investigating alternative treatment methods. When her research led her to the healing power of cannabis, she packed up her belongings, and she and Landon moved to Colorado Springs, in hopes of gaining safer access to medical marijuana.

In January of this year, with the help and guidance of some heroic Colorado growers and caregivers, Sierra Riddle began to treat her son’s cancer with edible capsules filled with a highly concentrated ratio of Cannabidiol (CBD), and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Results from the limited studies happening in the U.S. have shown that the plant’s THC, the psychoactive component most often associated with “getting high”, actually provides significant pain relief, and many cancer patients benefit greatly from its ability to combat the nausea that comes with chemotherapy. The non-psychoactive component, the CBDs, act as all-natural pain killers as well, but research has shown that CBDs quite literally stop many forms of cancers from metastasizing.

Within a month of beginning his new cannabis-infused diet, Landon showed incredible signs of improvement, seeming to justify the move to Colorado and the controversial treatment method. Soon, Landon had ceased all chemotherapy treatment in a decision that brought a lot of criticism, and attention, to his mother.

Undeterred, Sierra Riddle stands by her decision, recently stating, “Landon has had weekly blood work, spinal taps to check for cancer, and bone marrow aspirates as well… I have all of these results. Since May, he has had monthly blood checks, still no cancer present.”

Landon’s story was highlighted on CNN by their Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Dr. Gupta’s documentary, WEED, which aired earlier this year on the cable network, has been instrumental in normalizing the idea that marijuana does, in fact, have medicinal benefits.

Dr. Gupta has since apologized to the world for being so wrong about cannabis, and offered tentative optimism for Landon’s mother’s claims, saying, “Of course many cancer therapies do make it to this step; and some say it’s too early to get excited. Landon has been off chemotherapy for three weeks…and whether or not the cannabis has actually played a role, his mother says his leukemia is currently in remission.”

It’s true. Today Riddle says that Landon is cancer-free, re-growing his hair, and that marijuana helped to make her son “a million times better”.

If only the end of the story could be so happy.

Two weeks ago, Sierra Riddle began receiving visits from a case worker from Colorado’s Human Services Department, based on threats made to her by her son’s now ex-oncologist that he would report her for neglect if she ceased the harmful, and costly, chemo and radiation treatments for Landon.

“A report had been made that Landon was being refused treatment for his leukemia and that I had been a no-call no-show for 10 appointments,” Riddle told reporters. She denies the missed appointment accusations, and as for “refusing treatment”, Landon’s positive tests, and spirits, seem to contradict those claims.

Sierra and her representatives met again with Child Protective Services on October 2nd, seeking to squash the doctors’ attempts to force Landon back onto a $10,000 per month chemo plan. According to an update posted on a Change.org petition page set up in support of Landon’s cause, the meeting bagged mix results, with CPS staff offering limited support and the powers that be at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Colorado insisting that the Riddle’s either recommence the chemotherapy and radiation on Landon, or defend their decision in court.

“I just want to say, no matter what I am not going to give him chemo, but I’m not going to risk losing him either,” Sierra Riddle told CBS4 in Colorado, “I’m not going to push it that far.”

Unfortunately, it seems that CPS and the doctors hearing the Riddle’s appeal are willing to push it that far. In an update posted over the weekend to the “Offer Hope for Landon” Facebook page, a Riddle family spokesperson calling herself “Grammy Wendy” painfully conceded that without a board certified oncologist to take the stand on Landon’s behalf, a court battle would be futile. And so, on Monday, Landon was forced back onto the devastating chemo regimen.

“Chemo starts on Monday,” writes Grammy Wendy, “To say that we are devastated is putting it lightly. To put a child through more chemo who is in remission is insane. It is child abuse. We just cannot believe it. We are all stunned. However, we have no choice. We just pray that the cannabis will protect him from further damage and side effects.”

To learn more about Landon’s cause, and to offer support, click here.

Tell us in the comments below what you think of Landon being forced back on chemo.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. kira

    July 7, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    leave the country

  2. p

    February 4, 2014 at 1:55 am

    fuck them..wat are they trying to prove..they cant cure it let weed do it

  3. hein

    October 12, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Oh My Goodness. How blind are these people. Maybe not blind, but ignorant. I have a 3 year old girl and I can not imagine what they have to go through. I get teary eyed when I read this story.

    Many Many Blessings for the family

  4. Dylan Ball

    October 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Cannibis prohibition has always been about big buisnesses losing money and this is a disgusting examples. Doctors are supposed to be there to help people, not force them into dangerous and unneseccary treatments that obviously dont work as well as natural remedies that have no harmful side effects just because they would rather make noney than see a child make real progress without being debilitated by toxic chemicals and radiation therapy .im absolutely disgusted by this and the man whos forcung chemo upon a child who is already in remission from a safe and natural aalternative. I bet if it was his son hed be doing the same thing as this mother is doing. Maybe they should force him through chemo to show him what kind of pain he is bringing to this kid and his family.

  5. yolanda robinson

    October 11, 2013 at 2:49 am

    OK SO HE IS CANCER FREE!!! WHY ARE YOU ALL TRYING TO PUT HIM ON CHEMO IF HE DOESNT NEED IT? OH I FORGOT THEY ARE SO MONEY HUNGRY AND THAT THE DOCTORS WHERE ACTUALLY PROVEN WRONG, TO THE POINT WHERE THEY WOULD PUT A CHILD ON CHEMO WHEN HE DOESNT NEED IT!! I WILL PRAY FOR YOU CRUEL HEARTLESS PEOPLE AND PRAY FOR THE MAMA TO KEEP HER STRENGTH!

    • moeco

      December 7, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      Just to be fair here my understanding is that with his type of cancer there has to be a certain number of treatments which usually take from 2 to 3 years weather cancer is found or not. Once it is found in children that age there is a long treatment for it..and to play devils advocate I don’t know that the doctor had a choice here. Cannabis oil is not an approved treatment for cancer it can be given to help with side effects of treatment but not treatment as a whole because there has to be years and years of study in each type of cancer and how it effects each one in order for it to be approved. And according to another interview she did he still is on the oil along with the chemo. It is hard because yes it is her right but he has rights as well and by law giving him unapproved treatment may do harm. I don’t know it is a tough case but the fact they couldn’t find one oncologist to testify on behalf of it shows they would have done the same things too.

      • Bangy

        December 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm

        2 -3 years of treatment at $10,000 per month? So much for the Hypocratic Oath. The doctos have taken the Oath of Captialism. It’s no longer about the patient, it’s about money.

        As for “approved treatments” The only treatments that will ever be ‘approved’ are the ones sponsored by Big Pharma. Since Big Pharma owns the FDA (and avoids those years of testing you talk about) it’s very clear to me that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

        Do your own research and stop having your opinion handed to you by multi-billion dollar corporations which would only be multi-million dollar corporations if Cannabis were allowed to compete. Seriously, get a clue.

  6. Survivor Kym

    October 11, 2013 at 12:59 am

    wow Insane I am a cancer survivor and medical marijuana helped save me. But beyond that how can they force his mother to give him this damaging drug just so they can make money its sick. She should be able to choose what course of treatment he gets and if he is in remission then why? WTH wake up Dr you are going to harm this baby boy

  7. adrian tillman

    October 10, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    it seems to that they only want the money n don’t want to help the lad out cannabis works im just sorry to his family from going though this if the hospital it sucks stay strong ill pray to take care

    • adrian tillman

      October 10, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      it seems to me that they only want the money n don’t relly want to help the boy out cannabis works im just sorry for the family for going though this if the hospital it suck big time stay strong ill pray to for the health of your son take care

  8. Alf Aldred

    October 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I think it is disgusting that a child has to go through chemotherapy when he is in remission. It is child abuse to say the least. It is all about the doctor getting the money that he feels that he is entitled to, because that was what he thinks he is due because the child’s mother decided to go down that route as there is no other widely know help for cancer except chemotherapy which is wrong in its self as cannabis is a better cure for loads of different types of cancer with out all the nasty side affects.

  9. WIlson M.

    October 10, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I was not alive to witness the Founding Fathers and the creation of the U.S. Constitution but I do not think this is where they saw America in 2013. Growing up the public school history classes always made America sound like a nation that is cutting edge and for the people. This child deserves QUALITY of life. QUALITY- a word America seems to ignore when they approach Cannabis. I love my country and its President but I do not feel, as of late, that the people’s best interests are at hand.

  10. Larry Riddle

    October 10, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Why in Heaven cannot the medical scientific community embrace cannabis treatment when it is obvious that it works? Reading this story I am convinced the doctor had bills to pay and he was depending on that money…

  11. David

    October 10, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Forget the cannabis for a minute and you are left with the facts that the powers that be are talking a child who is now cancer free and putting him through chemotherapy and radiation?!?! I would say CPS and the doctor(s) pushing this should be charged with criminal child abuse!!

  12. Hope

    October 10, 2013 at 5:57 am

    I will agree with this momma I just getting threw treatments and the help thc drops did for me was nothing but a miricale not eating for fear of being sick and a friend brought these to me and here I am eating and not getting sick you go momma fight with all you got!

  13. Tom Ripp

    October 10, 2013 at 3:31 am

    This is absolutely disgusting, I am strongly against children being permitted to use cannabis recreationally, but to deny that it has a medical benefit and force a young child to go through such a painful and degrading process as chemotherapy, which has proven to be extremely detrimental to the health, instead of the natural alternative that has shown to be working extremely well as well as giving the kid a break from the pain. To prevent this is nothing short of criminal and it’s all because some wealthy and uncaring specialist doesn’t want to lose a cash cow.

    • chuck tyrrell

      October 10, 2013 at 10:13 am

      you people suck to put a lil man thru this just because your beliefs are different then others you should be ashamed

    • JackDanieL

      October 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      You nailed it, sir.

      My chemo treatments were over $15,000 every three weeks – not counting prescriptions, scans, extra doc visits, etc.

      I believe that the Riddle’s chemo-related expenses are around $10k/mo, as compared to a few hundred dollars a month for cannabis oil.

      Follow the money..

  14. richard

    October 10, 2013 at 3:16 am

    when will these people wake up , i suffer from chronic arthritis and the benefit from cannabis so much better than the 10 different meds i take !

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