Liam is 6 years old and has been having seizures since he was 9 1/2 month old and each and every one he has takes a toll on his little body. Over the past 5 years Liam has undergone countless tests, scans, diets, drugs and nothing has seemed to make his life or the life of his family any better. The doctors kept changing his medications and changing doses to try and find some balance to help him but aside from some small victories along the way the treatment process has done nothing to make his life better in my opinion. In fact the combination of the medications and the constant seizing has made matters worse for him because he has suffered setbacks in his development and even some brain damage. When my sister approached Liam's doctor in Ottawa to ask them to give Liam a prescription for medicinal marijuana they said no. Even after they had told Mandy that there was nothing else they could do for him in regards to treatment with prescription drugs. At that point Mandy scoured the country trying to find a doctor that would give him the prescription. She found one in Edmonton but that meant she had to fly Liam out there to see the doctor, which she did and things have started looking up from there.
Most recently stories published in the Telegram, Ottawa Citizen, Huffington Post, National Post, The Star Phoenix among others have told the story of how for the first time Liam has a viable medicine that saw him recently go ten days without a seizure. The problem is that in order to get this medicine in the form that is really the only option for him is against Health Canada rules for medicinal marijuana. You see Liam needs to have a very specific mixture of his medicine and it is largely dependent on the percentage of CBD in it. That is the compound found in the cannabis plant that helps him, not the THC part that makes you high.
So in order for Liam to get his medicine, the only thing that has worked in the past 6 years that doesn't contribute to giving him brain damage or developmental problems my sister has to break the law. She needs to take the dried cannabis buds, send them to Montreal to have them made into the proper oil than send a sample of that oil to British Columbia for analysis to know what dosage to give Liam. All this because Health Canada says that the only way Liam is allowed to take his medicine is by either smoking it, or through a vaporizer. Mandy states very clearly in multiple interviews why this is not an option for a child like Liam suffering from Dravet Syndrome.
I am not going to get into all the specifics but I would like my sister and her family and especially my nephew Liam that I and my family are behind them 100%. Living so far away from them and not being able to offer help with every day things we have tried and continue to support them in other ways. We have done multiple fundraisers and try to spread the word about their struggle but it always feels like it is hardly enough.
I guess the most important thing I can do for Liam is to let him know I love him and am always rooting for him to have a good day. I know that may sound strange to hope that he has a good day but that is the reality of the situation. Every day that Liam can go without having a seizure is a good day and if he can go two that is a great day for him and those who love him.
Here are some links to recent stories about Liam and his "breaking good" with Health Canada
Telegram Story - Marijuana has set him free
Ottawa Citizen - Six-year-old medical marijuana user runs afoul of Health Canada rules
National Post - 'Health Canada says he has to smoke it’: Six-year-old medical marijuana patient not allowed to use cannabis oil
Huffington Post - Health Canada Rules Require Liam McKnight, Child With Epilepsy, To Smoke Marijuana
The StarPhoenix - Six-year-old user runs afoul of Health Canada's rules
I have compiled a small video with some photos as Liam's life has progressed and want to share it. I can tell you right now that just putting this together was a very emotional experience for me and I hope that you enjoy it and understand just how special Liam is and show your support any way you can.