My name is Connie slayton Norgart and I'm 62 years old. I contracted polio at age 6 months and post polio syndrome in 1989. I have more weakening in all my muscles and severe muscle pain. I wore braces while being a nurse for 36 years. I've been on opioids since 1989 with 2 near death experiences due to side effects. I started using cannabis a few years a go for the pain and I have gotten great results. I only take 2-4 pain pills a day compare to eight pills daily. If I could get cannabis on a regular basis I would have no need for the opioids. I have 2 children and 2 grandkids with another on the way! I love to garden camp and spend time with my family. I volunteer at the veterans hospital. I'm far from being a criminal. This medicine really does give pain relief and can do much for many other illnesses. We have the right to manage our healthcare. Please contact your Iowa legislators.
This is Autumn! Autumn is almost 4 years old and had a traumatic birth that lead to brain damage which has caused a seizure disorder called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), spastic cerebral palsy, microcephaly, vision and hearing impairments.
Autumn has been taking CBD oil for 2 years. Since starting CBD oil Autumn is less spastic, no longer has week long crying spells where she would cry 240 hours, she is happy, learning, her vision and hearing are improving and she is saying mom!
I have used her CBD oil to treat an ear infection that typically requires her to be on strong antibiotics. The oil cleared her infection up in 5 days! I have also used her oil to treat a pressure sore on her heel that should have taken months to heal but only took 3 weeks !
Autumn has always been on multiple seizures meds. I am currently weaning her meds hoping to get her pharma free! She has successfully been weaned from Keppra which she had been on since birth! Her next wean will be Topamax. Without CBD oil Autumn would still be a crying zombie with no quality of life! Thanks to CBD oil I now have a happy, active, full of life child!
I have had Crohn's disease for 36 years. Crohn's disease is an auto immune disease that causes severe inflammation of the digestive tract, making it hard to eat without massive pain. Because food is the enemy and we don't digest properly, Crohn's patients tent to be dangerously malnourished. Medical cannabis actually makes it possible to eat. The severe nausea associated with Crohn's can be curbed with medical cannabis allowing us to eat and keep food down. Crohn's disease is ranked as a top ten most painful disease. Medical cannabis actually helps reduce the pain to bearable level. Without medical cannabis I would have died long ago.
Over the last 36 years, I've taken many awful, dangerous drugs. These include high doses of steroids. Over time steroids damage bones and soft tissue growth is inhibited. Other drugs are biologics like humira and remicade. These drugs are extremely expensive. Humira is administered twice a month by injection, each dose costs around $3,000. Remicade is another biologic. It is administered by IV every 4-8 weeks, at a cost that varies between $15,000-$24,000 per dose. I get my dose every 6 weeks. Side effects are lowered immune system, hair loss, allergic reaction and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Caleb is 12 years old & has intractable epilepsy. He has tried over a dozen FDA approved medications & nothing has completely controlled them.
Caleb has been taking CBD oil since September 2015, he receives the oil through a study he is in through university of Iowa children's hospital.
Since starting the oil Caleb's everyday head drop seizures went from 10/day to none. He still has the occasional grandmal seizures. Caleb's development has improved. He's more aware of his surroundings, more alert & very happy. His overall life has changed for the better due to CBD oil.
I’m Michelle Richardson from Norwalk. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2010. MS is an unpredictable, often disabling, chronic disease of the central nervous system which disrupts the flow of information within the brain as well as between the brain and body. This results in a variety of symptoms which are often invisible and don’t look the same in any two people.
My symptoms can range from mild to severe and from occasionally on a given day to every hour of the day and night. It’s difficult for me to process information in my brain, make decisions, and prioritize information. I easily am extremely fatigued, feel pins and needles and numbness in many areas of my body including my face, lose my balance and coordination, have muscles spasms in my arms and legs, and experience pain, which can be so debilitating I can’t speak or move.
Each year I have more symptoms and difficulties because of MS. Current research found certain forms of medical cannabis are an effective treatment for MS symptoms of muscle stiffness, certain types of pain and muscle spasms, and overactive bladder.
Please help those of us with MS and other serious chronic conditions to ease our pain and other symptoms, which can be improved by medical cannabis.
I was born with severe orthopedic issues, having my first reconstructive surgery at age 5. I have had two others, and will have at least two more as things progress.
I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: hypermobility disorder. While I have never known a pain free life, I did not start taking regular pain meds until about two years ago at the age of 50. I think when you're born being accustomed to pain and discomfort, you develop a pretty high pain tolerance.
On the other hand, I have a fairly low tolerance for medication, so, I only take them at night to sleep. If I took them during the day, I wouldn't be able to function.
I'm hoping that sometime in the near future, the state of Iowa (and even the nation) will realize that medical cannabis is a viable alternative to other stronger, addicting and damaging medications.
I have no idea if it would help me, but I should be given the opportunity to find out. There is such a stigma surrounding cannabis, a by-product of decades long "war on drugs". A war that won't be won, no matter how hard we try.
Regardless, there are thousands of people out there who could benefit from medical cannabis. Many, like myself, who have zero interest in the "high", but instead are suffering with a variety of conditions that could be better treated with medical cannabis than the host of pharmaceuticals they have been given over the years.
My name is Meggie Young (formerly Morgensen) and I am living with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 36. I was diagnosed in 2004. Since that time I have experienced attacks of symptoms that include blindness, mobility deficits, cognitive impairment, short term memory loss, nerve pain, insomnia, hearing loss, spasticity, weakness, foot drop, urinary incontinence, numbness, paralysis, nausea, and above all.... PAIN. Pain has been my constant companion since being diagnosed and there isn't a single day that goes by where I am pain free. I have had to miss so many things due to my pain and disease activity- work days, birthdays, family vacations, job promotions, weddings, funerals, fundraisers, the list goes on. When I am not working you will usually find me in bed because the toll working has put on my body is just too much to bear.
While I understand MS has no cure, and have comes to terms with that, I feel that is is inhumane for us to suffer from pain and nausea that could be alleviated or improved with the use of medical marijuana. Just because I have a chronic progressive disease doesn't mean I want to give up on life. I have goals and dreams and hopes and plans like everyone else, and I would like the chance to function and contribute to my community.
This is a photo of me during my 5 day loading dose of IVIG, a plasma based infusion. The cost of each infusion is around $10,000, and requires over 300 donors to make about 10g of useable plasma. The reason I am on IVIG is bc my disease hasn't responded to MS DMDs (disease modifying drugs).
I encourage everyone to follow my journey with MS on Instagram @meggiemyoung and Twitter @meggiemyoung.
Jack turned 16 in October. He is the sweetest, most gentle and kind young man you’d ever meet. He loves to laugh and make others laugh and his hugs are always heart-warming and plentiful. Along with having high functioning Autism he also has Epilepsy. He has been through more than most kids his age. He has been on 10 different anti-seizure medications, most we’ve had to stop because of negative side effects. Some caused him spine and head pain (viral meningitis is a “side effect” in the medication Lamictal), some behavior issues and agitation (we are currently experiencing from Vimpat and saw that on Keppra, too). It’s all incredibly hard for him and us considering he’s such a sweet kid. Mostly we’ve had to stop medications because they just do-not-work! The cost for most of these medications has been over $500 for a 30-day supply and that is after discounts and insurance. Also having high functioning Autism, we know medical cannabis greatly helps speech and communication skills in ways no other therapy or medication can.
Everyone who suffers greatly deserves to have access to a plant that was put here on earth for a reason. It is our hope that one day Iowans get access they so deserve. It is our biggest hope that our son can drive and be completely independent!
We are Jon and Donna Custis. We fell in love and were married in 1968. We have two beautiful daughters and four fantastic grandchildren. Donna suffers from a bad hip replacement that has caused her pain for years. She has also had a stroke. Donna has worked as supervisor in an electric motor plant, payroll clerk, and Pharmacy Tech. I am a Vietnam combat veteran who suffers from PTSD, chronic pain, and glaucoma. I spent 24 years in law enforcement and corrections. We both want a comprehensive whole plant cannabis bill passed in Iowa to help treat our health conditions.
Hello, my name is Cindy Walker. I have Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and other problems due to the HEDS. I would like whole plant access to Medical Cannabis in Iowa because of all the research that proves Cannabis works for neurological and gastrointestinal issues as well as pain and fatigue. People should not be denied medicine that works with little to no side effects and zero fatalities.
Patient & Caregiver Stories
These stories represent real Iowans suffering from complex medical conditions that need access to medical cannabis right here at home.