"Medical Migrants" seek new marijuana treatment

"Medical Migrants" seek new marijuana treatment

"Medical migrants" are packing it up in South Carolina and heading to Colorado to take advantage of a new marijuana treatment for seizures.

Two young South Carolina mothers are moving west for their two young sons battling neurological disorders.

Amanda Denoberga and her son Julian will soon leave Summerville. Julian has 30 to 50 seizures a day.

"They're a little more intense than they used to be," said Denoberga.

She added that heavy duty anti-seizure medications can make Julian irritable or sleep all day.

"I am hoping we can eliminate these drugs so he can progress developmentally and start walking."

Denoberga's hope comes from cannabis compound called Charlotte's Web, named after its first young seizure patient.

The special strain of marijuana isn't smoked. Instead, it's in oil form.

It doesn't make the young patients high because it is low in THC. Remarkably, it is controlling children's seizures in some of the most difficult cases.

Doctors oversee the treatment and the medicine is dispensed in Colorado through a non-profit organization called the Realm of Caring Foundation.

There is not a big supply, so there is a long patient waiting list.

Julian is on the list, but Denoberga believes he will be a higher priority patient once he arrives in Colorado. His doctor's appointments are scheduled for March.

Marisa Kiser's son Ezra started treatment in October. She said her son was unable to hold his head up before taking the medication.

Today, he's making eye contact and starting to smile again.

Denoberga hopes Julian will see similar progress.

"I think we can progress with walking and talking and eating," she said. "You know all the main things that 3 year olds are doing."

Demoberga is leaving her Summerville home, but will find Kiser and a community of marijuana refugees who have a common bond. For now, they are there to stay because crossing the border with their sons would bring consequences.

"Once you leave state lines with the oil, you're considered a drug trafficker," said Demoberga. "I would be arrested for trafficking."

There is a fundraiser Saturday, February 22 to help the Demoberga family make their move.

A benefit motorcycle ride will be held at Minky's Social Club in Summerville. Registration is at 11 a.m. and the cost is $15 per bike.

Anyone who wants to stop by just for lunch is asked to make a $5 donation.

You can call (843) 460-7521 for more information.

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