When 18-month-old Amelia Weaver caught the flu, her mother took her to see the doctor. Amelia had her first seizure in the pediatrician's office.
"Watching my baby have a seizure was the scariest experience of my life," mother Angie recalls. At first, it seemed a one-time episode. A year passed. Three-year-old Amelia was walking, talking, learning her letters, and counting up to 20.
Late one morning, the Weavers woke up to silence from their daughter's room. It was strange. Amelia would usually be their alarm clock. They found her in her crib, in the throes of another seizure. Four more would follow in quick succession as the Weavers rushed Amelia to the hospital.
Over the next few months, Amelia lost the ability to walk, talk, and eat on her own. She started having 30 to 80 drop seizures a day. Eventually, she was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy. The Weavers had an explanation for Amelia's condition, but no cure. They tried 23 different anti-epileptic meds, and none of them worked.
Like other desperate parents around the country with kids in pain, Angie turned to medical marijuana. Convinced that cannabis oil would help control Amelia's seizures, she began to campaign for legalizing it in Minnesota. She testified before the legislature, ran a letter-writing campaign to the governor, and offered her story to as many media outlets as she could. She thought about packing her bags and ditching home for a marijuana refugee state like Colorado or Oregon.
The activism paid off. Since medical weed became legal and Amelia received her first prescription from LeafLine Labs, she hasn't had a single drop seizure. The 9-year-old is sleeping, speaking, and catching up to the other kids in school.
"Amelia has seen drastic immediate results from medical cannabis," Angie says. "After watching our daughter suffer for years, we are so relieved that something is finally giving her some relief."
The Weavers are still paying about $200 a month for Amelia's medical weed, and the costs keep growing as Amelia does. As the family awaits expansion of Minnesota's medical marijuana program — and the addition of more patients to drive costs of medication down — they've set up a GoFundMe for donations.