- Christopher Smith, Editor-in-Chief
Irish Mom Wins, UK Government Agrees to Fund Daughter's Cannabis Medicine
Here's a feel-good story about yet another Rock Star Mom from Ireland getting a huge win for her child and her family from the National Institute of Health in the UK. From the Cork (Ireland) BEO:
“'It's Strange to Think That We Took on a Government' –
Vera Twomey Looks Back on Battle to
Access Medicinal Cannabis for Her Daughter”
“For Vera Twomey, the Cork mother and activist who spent seven years campaigning for her daughter to get access medicinal cannabis treatments in Ireland, the news that she has finally won hasn't sunk in yet. "I am stunned… the enormity of what we'd achieved was overwhelming, I haven't even had a cry yet," Vera said.
The North cork woman and her husband managed to secure access to Bedrocan, a cannabis medicine that reduces her daughter’s seizures. Ava, who is 11-years-old, has a form of epilepsy called Dravet's Syndrome.
[I had to look up Bedrocan – it’s the name of a Dutch cultivation and lab, and also the name of its lead product. The company’s website says Bedrocan is 22% THC and 1% CBD, which is interesting dosing for a child, but whatever works!]
[Also, Bedrocan was available by prescription in the UK until January, when Brexit was finally complete and all those trade agreements were broken.]
After that, the Mom “had to travel to the Netherlands every 12 weeks to get it.”
[And by the way, it costs this family about $1,000 per week for the medicine for their daughter, which would be paid up front by the National Institute of Health if it were any other medicine but cannabis. This is especially difficult for the family because the mom cares for Ava full-time, they have 3 other children under age 9. The father is a self-employed mechanic, so all this on a mechanic’s income.]
When Covid kicked in, the government told the Twomey's and other families in their position that their treatment could be imported, but that they would have to pay €10,000 upfront and wait five weeks to be reimbursed. So she continued to fight, and was finally granted the up front payment scheme this week.
THE DEEP DIVE
This is not Vera’s first battle to take care of her daughter. In 2017, she did a protest walk from her home to Dublin – 180 miles.
This should remind us of the 1,000 mile walk that Charlotte Caldwell and her son, Billy, took this spring. Billy is known as “The Boy Who Changed the Law” and got “Medicinal Cannabis Access Programme” approved in the UK in 2018. They walked across the UK to London to deliver a message to the same health minister and kick off action for a national testing scheme so more people can get approved for medicinal use.
And by the way, Vera’s efforts for her daughter also paid off for 16 other families who are now fully covered for cannabis medicine by the NIH. The Irish Moms again, getting it done! Great news for those Irish families!
IMAGE SOURCE: 'It's strange to think that we took on a government' - Vera Twomey looks back on battle to access medicinal cannabis for her daughter"