When Callie Blackwell, unknowingly to medical staff, gave their son cannabis to treat cancer while he lay dying in the hospital, she was taking a big risk. It was totally illegal and not standard medical protocol, but she says it helped him make a miraculous recovery.
Deryn Blackwell was just ten years old when he and his family’s life changed forever. His family says he was always incredibly healthy and full of energy, active on the rugby team and one of the strongest and fittest boys in his class at school.
But during a summer holiday, things began to change:
“He started complaining his food tasted like metal and he could feel something failing inside him when he laid on his side and one morning was sick…they sat down in front of us and said ‘there is no easy way to say this, but Deryn has leukaemia.”
When he was 14, he got to the point of a battle between life and death. Callie explained, “the doctors had said there was nothing more they could do”. That’s when her husband made the decision to take a huge risk and seek out cannabis as a medicine to ease his pain and suffering.
They said he worked and calmed him immediately, but there was more good news after that. Derek’s condition began to improve. When he was expected to not live through the year, he pushed through and is now living as a healthy, happy 17-year-old.
Callie wanted to make it clear she wasn’t making any wild claims about marijuana curing cancer:
“I’m not here to say cannabis can cure cancer or is a miracle drug….but it did help Deryn and so I think we need to ask, ‘could it help others too?’ I do think there needs to be more research into what cannabis can do. In some American states and across Europe it can be used.”
She and her family took a huge risk and it paid off. Shouldn’t we have more research into medicinal marijuana for cancer so that, in the future, parents won’t have to worry about laws interfering with the best interests for their children? We’re already moving in this direction, but Deryn’s story reminds us how pressing the issue is.
Callie is right. We need more research to understand that, so that it can best be used for people of all ages dealing with a variety of ailments.