COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) - A Colorado mother says she is only trying to help her young son battle cancer. Now she says a doctor may turn her into the state because she is refusing chemotherapy treatments for her child and is instead using a product related to marijuana.
A petition on change.org calls on the governor, the Colorado Springs police, Department of Human Services and The Children's Hospital to recognize cannabis as a treatment for cancer. The mother did not start it, but signed it after she and her child moved to Colorado Springs to take advantage of the state's marijuana laws.
Landon Riddle is 3 and her mother says he was diagnosed with leukemia. After being given just days to live he was placed on chemotherapy and radiation treatments. His mother, Sierra Riddle, says the treatments helped reduce the tumors but made her son very sick, including night terrors. The chemotherapy was stopped and Landon was given cannabis oil capsules, as she told CNN.
"I am willing to do whatever I have to do to make sure my child gets to live another day and gets to have that relief and have that quality of life he deserves," Sierra Riddle said.
Landon now looks healthier and is feeling much better, but in a letter posted online Sierra wrote, "They want to take away my son because I am refusing chemo!"
That came after she saw a Colorado doctor the day before, adding, "They do not see cannabis as a treatment for cancer."
The oil is a concentrate from the marijuana plant which does not include the psychoactive ingredient THC.
"Cannabis, just like morphine, is a medication," Sierra Riddle said. "It's not just a drug, it's a medication, and it's a medication that helps my son to fight his cancer."
CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger attempted to reach the Colorado doctor and center which saw the child. Sallinger wanted to ask about the mother's statement that law enforcement authorities would be contacted if chemotherapy is not continued. So far he hasn't gotten a response.
Statement From Children's Hospital Colorado
Out of respect for patient privacy, Children's Hospital Colorado cannot provide specific information. However, Children's Colorado can provide the following information from Stephen Hunger, MD, Director, Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Children's Hospital Colorado:
- Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease among children in the U.S.
- About 25% of childhood cancers are acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
- The survival rate for children with ALL treated on Children's Oncology Group ALL research trials is over 90%.
- This is attained with 2 to 3 years of chemotherapy.
- Children's Hospital Colorado is one of the largest centers in the country that treats children with ALL
- For more information visit www.childrenscolorado.org
LINK: Offer Hope For Landon
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