A mum has revealed that she gives her eight-year-old cancer sufferer daughter cannabis.
Mykayla Comstock has endured a year-long cancer battle along with chemotherapy treatment, and is now taking the drug to aid her recovery.
The Sun reports that although she is dosed up on a cocktail of anti-cancer medication, she has none of the usual nausea, drowsiness or pain typical most leukaemia patients go through because her mum Erin is giving her cannabis every day.
Erin, 26, believes the drug is keeping Mykayla free from the horrible side-effects of the cancer treatment.
"I know I made 100 per cent the right decision in medicating my daughter with cannabis. She's just like any other child - you'd never know she's been so sick," she told the paper.
Mykayla is one of a handful of children in her home county of Portland, Oregan, USA, who has been given permission from the authorities to use cannabis for medical purposes.
She is still under the care of the paediatric oncology team at the local Randall Children's Hospital, but her mum complements their conventional treatments with as much cannabis as 'she sees fit'.
Mykayla has been taking a daily dose of up to two grammes of the plant oil in capsules since July 2012, ten days after she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
"When we got the diagnosis of cancer, my heart shattered right there in the doctor's office," Erin said. "She'd been unwell for quite a while and at first it just seemed like a cold. I was worried though, because she was usually such a healthy kid.
"When she started getting stomach pain too, doctors thought maybe it was a dairy intolerance. Weeks later, pneumonia seemed the likely diagnosis. Then when they scanned her chest they discovered a mass of blood cells.
"It turned out to be cancer - a type with a good survival rate but only with a long course of chemotherapy and often radiotherapy, too."
Erin was using cannabis herself for kidney problems, and says that her instinct told her the drug would help Mykayla, too.
"I wasn't a drug user, since experimenting in high school. After having Mykayla at 18 I was scared of having the recreational side of it around my kids," she said. "But the more I learned, the more I agreed with cannabis for medicinal use. That's why I immediately knew I wanted it for Mykayla. I believed cannabis could even work in place of chemotherapy, although I did want the best possible chance for her to still be here with me for the longest time.
"I decided at least it could help her with the side-effects of the treatment, as well as giving her body extra support in fighting the disease. We said no to nearly every extra prescription drug that was offered."
Mykayla was found to still have high levels of lymphoblasts even after her chemotherapy – despite her doctors expecting them to decrease immediately and the cancer to go into remission.
Her mum was told that the little girl would most likely need a bone marrow transplant.
"When they started talking like that I almost sniggered as, by this point, I was just a day away from securing her medical marijuana card and I knew she was going to be OK," Erin tells the paper.
"Even though I had the cannabis oil there in my hand, from my own prescription, I wouldn't give it to her without that card. I didn't want to risk losing her by doing something illegal. So the next day she started the cannabis oil treatment at home, on a tiny dosage and, within a week, she'd gone into remission."
Erin said the doctors were baffled.
"For a month we didn't say anything about the cannabis, then they found out. The oncologist wasn't happy, and didn't support it at all. It was the first time she'd heard of a child using cannabis, and she basically called us criminals for doing this.
"At the time Mykayla was the youngest medical marijuana patient in the state. So we ended up with a new oncologist who said although he couldn't support the treatment, he was very happy with Mykayla's health, and told us not to change a thing."
Erin - who prepares the tables each day using home-grown marijuan - says she is 'so grateful' she has the opportunity to use cannabis for her little girl's health.
"For being in a state where that's available," she said. "I don't have to meet a drug dealer down an alley, I have safe access.
"I have had a small amount of criticism, mainly from people who don't see cannabis as a medicine but as a recreational drug, so they have worries about the side-effects. But I get far more positive messages from parents, who can see how much it helps."
"That's why I feel so bad for people who want it for their children but can't get it."
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