Sophie Isabella Ryan was born October 3, 2012, perfectly healthy weighing in at 8 pounds, 7.4 ounces. Her birth had zero complications and I had the perfect pregnancy, doing everything right by way of diet and constant checkups with my OB. On June 20, 2013, Sophie had her first MRI scan after nystagmus, shaking of the eyeball, presented in her left eye. On June 23rd, at 8 ½ months old, Sophie was diagnosed with a low-grade, Optic Pathway Glioma brain tumor. My husband, Josh, and I were originally told that her only option would be a 13-month protocol of chemo in hopes to stop the development of the tumor. Since it is a slow-growing tumor, chemo was never meant to get rid of the tumor, and doctors told us if they saw even minimal shrinkage it would be considered a huge success.
At this point, after succumbing to an emotionally devastating situation, we decided to dust ourselves off and look for other ways to save our daughter outside of just Western medicine alone! After creating a Facebook page called “Prayers for Sophie,” a friend on Facebook put us in touch with Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, who were filming a documentary about how cannabis oils kill cancer in pediatric patients. I was originally inspired to try for a natural birth after watching their first documentary, The Business of Being Born, so I knew if these ladies were now focused on a film about cannabis, there had to be something to it! These women worked hard to surround us with the top oil makers and experts in California, and so our journey to healing our daughter began!
Sophie has been on high-concentrated THC and CBD cannabis oil since she started chemo in October of 2013. The only side effects she ever had was a little sleepiness that completely went away as she acclimated to the oils. Now her only side effect is hunger, which is amazing since the chemo can affect her appetite. Despite several rounds of chemo, Sophie continued to gain weight and has a great quality of life despite having chemo once a week with short breaks from time to time. Her hair has grown back, she is advancing developmentally, and despite the nine blood transfusions she has required she is otherwise very happy and healthy.
After 12 months of chemo and high doses of cannabis oil, Sophie’s brain tumor was about 85 to 90 percent gone, and a massive cyst that had formed was about 90 percent gone! We were told that chemo would also not get rid of the cyst. We were told that Sophie would go blind in her left eye and her right eye would likely be compromised. Because of the shrinkage we have seen from the use of cannabis oil, we have saved her vision, and the doctors at Kaiser Los Angeles are now in agreement that the cannabis oil has destroyed her tumor! After an eye exam her vision was reported to be, “That of a normal two year olds.”
Due to Sophie’s age and high recurrence rate of these tumors, her tumor has began to grow again and she is back on treatment. When young children hit growth spurts, her type of brain tumor can also grow. The doctors expect her to make a full recovery, and live a long and healthy life. With the assistance of cannabis they anticipate seeing the same kind of success as before, and thus far she has been almost completely side effect free.
A very special thank you to Stephen Amell, and all of our amazing friends & family for all of the fundraising and financial support they have given our family. Because of their generosity, they have inspired us to help other families the way they have helped us. Through SavingSophie.org we hope to pay it forward to those who are now in the same financial troubles we once found ourselves in.
Weed The People
National Geographic – 7 minute piece
National Geographic – Full documentary
Huffington Post: Meet Some of the Kids at the Center of the Medical Marijuana Debate
Huffington Post: Weed The People Movie Looks at Children, Cancer and Cannabis Medicine
United Patients Group
Cash Hyde Foundation
The Fifth Column News
The Stoner’s Cookbook
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