Patient Stories | New Approach Missouri

Patient Stories

Lonnie - Speaking Up. Speaking Out.

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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.
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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.

 

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Support Veteran Patients Today!

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My name is Alice Mangan, and I served in the Army on active duty from 1991 to 1996. I have been diagnosed with service-connected multiple sclerosis, along with major depressive disorder, narcolepsy, hypothyroidism, and degenerative disc disease.

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For the past 21 years, I have worked with the Veterans Administration to receive accurate diagnoses and medication schedules that actually relieve my symptoms. I have tried six different pain meds, valium, and antidepressants with no real success in controlling the conditions I suffer from. The side effects from the pharmaceutical cocktails left me in worse condition most of the time.

Often I was left begging for relief from the constant pain, while dealing with constant nausea, itching, and serotonin syndrome as a result of the pill cocktail. Even now, the VA is unable to give me any concrete answers. I had begun to abandon hope of ever being pain-free again.

I have always wondered if  the government would outlaw something that was beneficial to Americans, but I never experienced it firsthand until I went to a legal state and saw how cannabis therapy could improve my life.

For five days in a row, I felt what a pain-free life could be. I was able to be the wife, mother, and grandmother I was meant to be. Veterans who have served this country and defended the freedoms of our people deserve the freedom to consult with their doctors and use the medicines that help them, including cannabis.

My family is well settled in in Southwest Missouri and moving isn’t an option. Please help me -- and the thousands of others like me, who are in dire need of cannabis therapy -- by supporting New Approach Missouri’s petition for medical cannabis in Missouri.

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This is my story and I am not alone

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My name is Lonnie, I live in Central Missouri, and I have an important story to share with you. In 2007, my life was forever changed when I had to undergo a miraculous 18-hour surgery to remove a tumor the size of a softball from my brain. In the following months, I would endure months of rehabilitation, learning how to walk and move the right side of my mouth again. Today, despite a second surgery, a tumor the size of a walnut is still attached to both my brainstem and optic nerve and unfortunately, surgery is no longer an option.

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Sick. Tired. Ready for a new approach.

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I spent a year defending my country in Afghanistan, battling the Taliban in the Kunar Province -- one of the most dangerous regions for American troops.

I returned from Afghanistan five years ago, but Afghanistan never left me. I now struggle with anxiety, sleep, nightmares, pain and PTSD, which I treat with a combination of nerve medication, anti-depressants, Percocet and other pills prescribed by my doctor.

I didn’t always have to take these expensive and addictive pills. Between returning from my tour in Afghanistan and settling down in Jefferson City to live with my wife and 13-year-old stepson, I lived in Colorado where access to legal medical cannabis changed my life.

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A nurse's perspective on medical cannabis

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As a Registered Nurse and founder of the Missouri Cannabis Nurses Association here in Missouri, I see firsthand the dangerous side effects of opioids and painkillers. These addictive prescription drugs ruin lives. Missouri nurses understand patients living here experience greater hardship and discrimination. Patients not only suffer from their debilitating disease, but also from unnecessary medical and legal barriers to safe effective cannabis therapeutics. New Approach Missouri’s ballot initiative offers an extensive list of qualifying conditions for many debilitating diseases and, if passed, would give patients the option to choose medical cannabis, a much safer, effective, and compassionate alternative.

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