An Oshawa family is sharing their success story to push for research trials in an uncharted area of medicine, medical marijuana. In their case, it’s being taken as a treatment for severe epilepsy, but the option wasn’t an easy one to discover and they want it to be accessible to more people in desperate need of relief.
Twice a month, Jennifer Ayotte makes brownies but there’s no room for error in her baking. Each batch is made with 7 1/2 grams of cannibis, infused into butter, enough to last her daughter, Stephanie 15 days.
Stephanie has lennox-gastaut syndrome she operates at the level of a toddler and has severe epilepsy. Before using medical marijuana, she had 8 to 12 seizures a day, anti-convulsant drugs weren’t working, and she had to use a wheelchair. Then she got a prescription for medical marijuana.
Every month, mom, Jennifer, orders 15 grams from a provider that has their prescription on file. Since Stephanie started taking it in August, they’ve been trying to find the perfect strain. Little research has been done on the treatment, so Jennifer tracks Stephanie’s progress herself. This month, Stephanie has had only 10 seizures about 90% fewer than before.
Stephanie’s prescription isn’t covered by OHIP, so they pay out of pocket $170 a month and it’s heavily regulated. Jennifer has to be very careful with each dose because they aren’t allowed to order any more than the prescribed 15 grams per month.