Mother Seeks Medical Marijuana For Her Twins With Rare Disorder
A Frederick, Md., mother wants to give her 3-year-old twin boys medical marijuana to help ease their severe seizures, and now she is working with state lawmakers to help make it happen.
Nicolas and Byron Deliyannis were born with a rare disorder called Miller-Dieker syndrome. It is a condition that causes abnormal brain growth and leads to almost daily seizures.
Their mother, Shannon Moore, says nothing her family and doctors have tried is helping her little boys. And now, seizures have caused both boys to be on feeding tubes because the seizures have robbed the boys of the ability to swallow.
"The medicines that they're on, in addition to having really negative side effects, have really stopped working for them," she says.
Moore wants to give her kids medical marijuana to help calm their seizures. She says she learned about the therapy and its success while watching a news report.
The problem is marijuana isn't legal in Maryland where Moore and her family live.
"Medical marijuana is helping to save lives of children with catastrophic epilepsy in other states where it's legal, and I want it to be legal here," Moore says.
Last year, the state legislature passed a bill that only made medical marijuana available through academic medical centers. None is taking advantage of the new law.
Now, Moore is working with local and state lawmakers, including Frederick County Delegate Patrick Hogan, to craft a better law.
"We took a step as a state last year to move forward with medical marijuana, and I feel like if we're going to do that, then we should make it available to those who can benefit from that," says Hogan.
There has been some push back by those concerned about the potential for abuse.
But a recent poll shows 90 percent of Maryland residents support medical marijuana if prescribed by a doctor.
Moore says even if it can't save Nicolas and Byron's lives, it is worth it to help other kids who may be just as severely sick.
Studies show that medical marijuana works for about 85 percent of kids with epilepsy. It is usually administered dietarily, but can also be used with a vaporizing apparatus.
A bill is being introduced next week that will get the ball rolling on making medical marijuana legal in Maryland.