May 22, 2015 - 2:41 PM
SUMMERLAND – The family of a young girl from Summerland say her only relief from debilitating seizures has come from an oil derived from marijuana, and they are holding a fundraiser to help other families in the same situation.
Kyla Williams, 3, has a rare form of epilepsy that causes her as many as 300 seizures a day. The cause is unknown but where pharmaceuticals have failed to help, cannabis oil seems to be making a big difference in her quality of life.
“Kyla is doing great now,” says her grandmother Elaine Nuessler, who is organizing the fundraiser this weekend. “We couldn’t even count the number of seizures before because they were one after the other. Now some days she doesn’t have any.”
Kyla first starting having seizures when she was just months old. It took doctors several months to identify the problem however, because her form of epilepsy is very rare and the seizures almost unnoticeable.
“She passes out and completely loses consciousness,” Nuessler says. “If she were standing she would just fall to the floor.”
The Neusslers are in a difficult position now because although they know what Kyla needs, the federal government has yet to legalize the production of the concentrated oil that Kyla takes three times a day.
“These kids need a concentrated oil with low THC to ensure they don’t get the psychoactive part,” Nuessler says. “It’s very frustrating for us to know one particular mix works for Kyla but we can’t get it.”
Two months ago the Neusslers got a letter from Health Minister Rona Ambrose saying although she sympathizes with their situation, the oil is still illegal in Canada and what they are doing could constitute a crime. But the Nuesslers are forging ahead anyway.
“We thought we were alone when we started this journey but when we started reaching out we realized… how many people are going through the same thing,” she says. “They’re showing varied results but without exception all of them are having better results than they ever did on pharmaceutical drugs.”
The family is holding a fundraising dinner and dance Saturday, May 23 at Orchard House in Penticton between 1 and 7 p.m. There will be live music followed by a silent auction.
For more information on the fundraiser or on Kyla’s Quest visit their Facebook page.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015