31 Oct How the Figi Family Paved the Way for CBD Medicine for Children with Epilepsy
In 2006, Paige Figi was shocked when she noticed her three-year-old daughter Charlotte having a seizure. Doctors were mystified. Charlotte’s seizures kept increasing. Eventually, doctors diagnosed her with Dravet Syndrome, a rare and life-threatening form of Epilepsy.
After watching Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s groundbreaking CNN report on cannabis, Charlotte’s parents, Matt and Paige, started looking into cannabis as a medical treatment. They were desperate. Charlotte, at age two, had begun losing all her cognitive and physical abilities. Now five, she could not talk, walk, or eat. She was confined to a wheelchair.
Paige and Matt had already tried everything their doctors could suggest. They’d tried acupuncture, and a ketogenic diet. They’d tried heavy-duty drugs. Nothing worked. Charlotte was enduring three hundred seizures a week. Dependent on life support, she had little to no quality of life. The family’s hope was wearing thin.
After hearing that some children with Dravet Syndrome were having success with CBD oil, Paige had to find some. She hoped that CBD oil, which is extracted from the hemp plant (and contains little to no THC), might ease Charlotte’s suffering at the end of her life — which, the doctors had told them, was imminent.
She went to a dispensary in Colorado, then administered a small dose of CBD oil to Charlotte. The next day, Charlotte had zero seizures. Matt and Paige were shocked. The day after that, once again, Charlotte had no seizures. For the entire week, she was seizure-free.
Thrilled, Paige began to seek a doctor, who would give her a Medical Marijuana prescription card, so she could find the best form of the oil to buy. As she was the youngest applicant in the state of Colorado seeking a card, it was a challenge, but Paige found two doctors willing to give it a try.
Paige then began her search for the best CBD oil and found the Stanley brothers. These five brothers are marijuana farmers and formed a non-profit organization called The Realm of Caring Foundation. The Foundation helps children and adults, suffering from Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer and Parkinson’s diseases by selling the oil at an affordable rate for people in need. Their focus is to cross-breed plants for the highest CBD content and lowest THC content possible. The Stanley brothers had the perfect, high quality oil for them and Paige continued the protocol for Charlotte, first putting it into her stomach port and then mixing it into her food. Yes, that’s right, she began to not only be able to eat, but feed herself, talk, walk and ride a bike! She is now nearly twelve years old and has one to two seizures a month in her sleep and they do not affect her quality of life. She attends school and she has not been in the hospital since beginning the oil. Charlotte has her life back, her sister has her twin back and as her mom, Paige says, “We have a family again!” The Stanley brothers , Stanleybrothers.co , named the particular fine tuned CBD oil “Charlotte’s Web”and her family, which is now also helping many others.
Progress is being made. Medical Marijuana is now legal in 31 states, DC, Guam and Puerto Rico. In April, an Illinois Judge ruled in favor of an 11 year old child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia to attend school with her CBD oil, which enables her to be with her peers, rather than be home schooled. On June 25 of this year, the FDA approved the the first CBD oil based drug in a liquid form called Epidiolex, for people with Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Epilepsy. On September 27, the DEA changed the classification of Epidiolex from a Schedule 1 drug to the lowest classification, Schedule 5. This decision opens the door to getting the medicine on the shelves in the next two months for consumers.
Thanks to the Figi family and other brave parents, there’s hope for other children suffering from serious conditions like Dravet Syndrome.