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As a long-time advocate for New York State’s Compassionate Care Act, I was proud to have helped open the door for individuals suffering with debilitating illnesses and conditions to receive medical marijuana. This opportunity included my daughter, Haley.

Haley is now 9 ½ years old and since first beginning her cannabis-derived medication in January, my husband and I feel as though we have met the “real” Haley for the first time.

Throughout the course of her young life, Haley has suffered from a rare form of epilepsy causing her to experience severe and frequent tonic-clonic and myoclonic seizures. We did all that we could to help Haley manage her condition. We tried everything from 14 different anti-epilepsy medications to a ketogenic diet and vagal nerve stimulation. Nothing seemed to work, and the unpleasant side effects and sleepless nights only added to our battle.

During the fight to legalize medical marijuana in New York State in 2014, I researched prospective companies, proper dosages and patient outcomes. As a nurse, I was drawn to the medical based treatment that was established by professionals and experts who had become familiar with the line of work – the Vireo team.

Earlier this year, Haley became the first child certified for medical marijuana in New York State. Since beginning her treatment at Vireo, a once nearly impossible number of seizures for me to track has dropped to as low as two in a month. Each day that goes by she has gotten stronger, more alert and playful.

After travelling from the Capital Region to the Vireo dispensary in White Plains, we are greeted by knowledgeable staff. From day one we have been provided with the support and assistance necessary to acquire the right product for Haley. After evaluating her rare condition, the team recommended the Indigo CBD dominant cannabis oil. This was the only product we tried and with only two doses a day Haley’s quality of life has improved tremendously.

So many medical practices we tried in the past focused solely on stopping seizures, leaving Haley heavily sedated and constantly sleepy. As a parent, you want to help stop the seizures, but you also want your child to live their life the best they possibly can – Vireo understands that.

The progress that Haley has made over the past few months is something we never could have even imagined. She is our inspiration, and a true example of how this newly explored treatment can change the lives of so many people throughout New York State.

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