We Must Act! - New Approach Missouri


We Must Act!

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Hello my name is Lonnie. I live in Central Missouri, and I have had the pleasure of sharing my story with you over the past year. In 2007, the life I had grown accustomed to living came to an abrupt halt when I was diagnosed with a large brain mass. I often have flashbacks of that day when the neurosurgeon told me, “You have a large brain mass, and I can’t help you.”

Thankfully, there was a medical team that could help me and after an 18-hour surgery, a tumor the size of a softball was removed from my brain. After months of rehabilitation, I had to learn to do so many things I had never thought about before -- even maintaining my basic hygiene was a challenge. Despite the efforts of my medical team and another surgery in 2008, I still live with an inoperable tumor and the exhausting symptoms of the 22 surgical procedures I have endured.


Last year, I was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy, and the only option left to me is epilepsy surgery. In preparation for this surgery, I will be exposed to repeated seizures like this one over the course of two to three weeks. This means withholding my anti-seizure

Lonnie during a seizure.medications and, if necessary, using strobe lights, sleep deprivation, and other methods to induce life-threating seizures. Even having the minimum of two more surgeries following these extreme tests does not guarantee a seizure free life, and I must continue taking the very medications that are poisoning me.  

Since the last time I reached out to you, I continue to have multiple seizures, and each time my rescue medication has failed to prevent or stop them. Additionally, the medications I take for anxiety and depression have been increased, and the results of recent lab work indicated a decrease in kidney function. The decrease in my kidney function poses no immediate threat, but it confirms that the medications we take to treat our illnesses can also carry substantial side effects.

Like many Missourians who are desperate and have no options or who are only presented with the most extreme measures, I looked to CBD oil as a possible treatment for my illness. I exhausted all my resources to obtain a recommendation that would allow me access to CBD oil but to no avail. With such restricted access, Missourians like myself looked to our elected officials to pass legislation that would provide greater access to Missouri’s CBD program and, as expected, they left this crucial piece of legislation to die without a vote as the legislative session ended.
The shameful control of medicine by politicians must end, and we must restore the once sacred relationship between physician and patient.  

Since I started advocating for medical cannabis, I have had numerous opportunities to visit with other patients, families, and those who are dedicated to bringing compassionate care to Missouri. The support is tremendous and for the first time in many years, I know people are listening and acting in the best interest of Missourians who are out of options. We will no longer be stifled. This is our initiative and with every signature gatheredevery dollar collected, and every story shared, we are one step closer to making medical marijuana available in 2018.
Unlike the neurosurgeon who told me he could not help me or the politicians who refuse to help us, will you stand in solidarity with me and the countless Missourians who are in need of legal access to medical marijuana by contributing $5, $20, or $35 and volunteering to collect signatures now?

“It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.” --His Holiness the Dalai Lama

In Solidarity,
Lonnie Kessler