Mother Of Colorado 3-Year-Old Sparks Medical Marijuana Debate
Doctors Require Chemotherapy Against Mother’s Wishes
Landon Riddle is a 3-year-old boy living in Colorado Springs who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia just over a year ago. His mother, Sierra, has made headlines for her decision to treat Landon’s leukemia with cannabis oil in lieu of continuing chemotherapy. Despite the success of Landon’s cannabis treatment, his new oncologist is prepared to use legal action to force more chemotherapy.
After Landon’s diagnosis, he began intense chemotherapy at the recommendation of his Salt Lake City doctors. However, the treatment regimen began to take a toll on Landon, and Sierra decided to turn to cannabis. CNN’s Sanjay Gupta covered the story in July and explained some of the difficulties chemotherapy was causing: “The chemo made [Landon] violently ill. He was in intense pain. He suffered nerve damage in his legs and he went 25 days without eating.”
Cannabis Oil May Have Helped Treat Landon’s Leukemia
After learning about the merits of medical marijuana, Sierra moved to Colorado to seek treatment legally and discovered the Realm of Caring Foundation. Realm of Caring is known for their high-CBD Charlotte’s Web strain, which was famously successful in the case of Charlotte Figi. As was the case with Charlotte, cannabis oil produced by the Stanley brothers – the Realm of Caring owners – seems to have benefited Landon since he began treatment in January.
Sierra saw an obvious improvement in Landon’s overall health in almost no time. “As soon as we started taking the oil, his platelets have been a regular healthy person’s level and they can’t understand why,” she told CNN.
Seeing the success of the cannabis oil, Sierra decided to discontinue all the chemo treatments except for one – a form of chemotherapy meant to prevent cancerous cells from spreading through the Central Nervous System. According to her, Landon’s leukemia continued to improve and is currently in remission. Sierra an avid believer that cannabis played a significant role in Landon’s progress and does not wish to put her son through the terrors of chemotherapy any longer.
Doctors Insist On Chemotherapy For Landon
Sierra was thrown for a loop in August when they met with the oncologist she found for Landon in Colorado Springs. According to Sierra, she informed the doctors that Landon was no longer receiving chemotherapy treatments. In turn, the oncologist insisted Sierra give consent for three more years of chemotherapy. Landon’s doctors believe medical marijuana can help with the side effects of chemo, but they do not see cannabis an effective cancer treatment in its own right.
“Sierra is in search of another oncologist who supports their cause. She hopes to find a doctor who shares her vision of compassionate cancer treatment for Landon.”
According to Sierra, the meeting in August resulted in a visit from Child Protective Services (CPS) a month later. Landon’s doctor apparently reported Sierra for refusing chemotherapy treatments and Sierra says the CPS began an investigation. The Colorado Springs mother says they found Landon to be well taken care of and even offered their support.
The doctors who filed the report, however, are a different story altogether. According to Sierra, Landon’s oncologist, Dr. Steve Hungar, expressed that he woud take the Riddle family to court over the matter during a recent meeting. In doing so, he would offer expert testimony that the decision to stop chemotherapy puts the 3-year-old’s life in immediate danger.
Surely, arguing a doctor in court would be a losing battle without years of medical experience backing you. Accordingly, Sierra conceded and agreed to allow chemotherapy treatment, starting Monday Oct. 7. Given the circumstances, she feared that a loss in court would equal a loss of custody and decided against the risk.
Instead of spending precious resources on lawyer fees, Sierra has decided to comply with the doctor’s treatment plan, though the dosage was slightly adjusted. With that said, she has not given up the fight. Sierra is in search of another oncologist who supports their cause. The Colorado Springs mother hopes to find a doctor who shares her vision of compassionate cancer treatment for Landon and has requested help in finding one.
Visit the Offer Hope for Landon Facebook Page for updates on Landon’s treatment and to offer support for Team Landon.