Lonnie - Speaking Up. Speaking Out.
Hello it's me, Lonnie, again! You have likely read some of my previous emails, but if not, it is a pleasure to meet you.
In 2007, I was diagnosed with a massive brain tumor, that required 18 hours of surgery to resect a tumor the size of a softball. Because of the trauma to my brain, I live with multiple conditions that are not controlled by conventional medications and treatments. Today I live with PTSD, gastroparesis, intractable epilepsy, an inoperable brain tumor, severe nausea and vomiting, extreme weight loss, irritability, and the list goes on.
Many of these conditions diminish my quality of life, but epilepsy remains an imminent threat to my life! Currently, my only choice for further treatment is surgery to remove the part of my brain where the seizures originate and implanting electrodes to redirect the neural pathways. My last seizure lasted 14 minutes, the longest yet. When I regained consciousness two hours later, doctors told me my potassium level was 2.3; they needed to treat me; and if they did not, my heart could stop.
This isn’t the first time we didn’t know if I would make it through the night, so I decided to go home knowing if I passed it would be in a place of comfort. Maybe a part of me wanted to let go that night. Fortunately, I am still here, I still have a voice, and I will continue to speak up and speak out about the legitimate need for marijuana as medicine in Missouri.
In November, we observe Epilepsy Awareness Month. The disorder affects almost three and a half million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control, or 1.2 percent of the population. That means that there are more than 70,000 Missourians who suffer from epilepsy, and none of us are allowed legal access to whole plant medical cannabis in our home state. A civilized society should never treat its citizens this way.
November is also my birth month, and I just celebrated my birthday over the weekend. I can't be certain that I will celebrate another one. That is the reality I face because of epilepsy. The best birthday gift you could give to me, and thousands of other Missouri patients like me, is to support my legal right to use medical cannabis under the supervision of my doctors.
You can do that by making a contribution of $10, $25, or $50 to New Approach Missouri's initiative campaign for medical cannabis or volunteering to collect signatures to put the issue before voters by finding a petitioner event near you or contacting a volunteer coordinator to arrange for training. However you choose to help, I urge you to take action now, because like me have no time to lose!