Mother Refuses Chemotherapy For Son
A Colorado mother says she is only trying to help her young son battle cancer. Now she says a doctor may turn her into the state because she is refusing chemotherapy treatments for her child, and is instead using a product related to marijuana. A petition on change.org calls on the governor, the Colorado Springs police, Department of Human Services, and The Children’s Hospital to recognize cannabis as a treatment for cancer. The mother did not start it, but signed it after she and her child moved to Colorado Springs to take advantage of the state’s marijuana laws.
Landon Riddle is 3 years old and his mother says he was diagnosed with leukemia. After being given just days to live he was placed on chemotherapy and radiation treatments. His mother, Sierra Riddle, says the treatments helped reduce the tumors but made her son very sick, including night terrors. The chemotherapy was stopped and Landon was given cannabis oil capsules, as she told CNN.
“I am willing to do whatever I have to do to make sure my child gets to live another day and gets to have that relief and have that quality of life he deserves,” Sierra Riddle said
Landon now looks healthier and is feeling much better, but in a letter posted online Sierra wrote, “They want to take away my son because I am refusing chemo!”
That came after she saw a Colorado doctor the day before, adding, “They do not see cannabis as a treatment for cancer. The oil is a concentrate from the marijuana plant which does not include the psychoactive ingredient THC. “Cannabis, just like morphine, is a medication,” Sierra Riddle said. “It’s not just a drug, it’s a medication, and it’s a medication that helps my son to fight his cancer.”
CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger attempted to reach the Colorado doctor and center which saw the child. Sallinger wanted to ask about the mother’s statement that law enforcement authorities would be contacted if chemotherapy is not continued. So far he hasn’t gotten a response.
One year ago, 3-year-old Landon Riddle was diagnosed with leukemia. Under doctors’ orders, his mother Sierra Riddle began treatment for her young son: aggressive chemotherapy and radiation.
But while still living in Utah, Sierra watched her little boy become violently ill from the chemotherapy — Landon suffered nerve-damage in his legs, nausea that led to vomiting dozens of times a day, intense pain and at one point went 25 days without eating following the treatment, according to CNN.
“Around the clock, he was usually on liquid morphine, Ativan, Promethexane,” Sierra told CNN back in July. “And it just really didn’t seem to be helping.”
Feeling like her family “didn’t have anything left to lose” she looked into medical marijuana treatment. She moved her family to Colorado Springs, Colo. to benefit from the state’s marijuana laws and started to give Landon liquid forms of both Cannabidiol, or CBD, and Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC.
“Within four weeks we could see the improvement,” Sierra told KRDO.
Users of medical marijuana have said that THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that is associated with the “high” sensation, can also be an effective pain killer as well as inhibit feelings of nausea.
And research from a pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco suggests that CBD, the non-toxic, non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, could actually stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer.
Sierra swapped chemotherapy for cannabis therapy and has seen her son return to his old energetic self and his cancer go into remission. Her decision to use medical marijuana as treatment for her son’s cancer has raised some eyebrows in the traditional medical community — so much so, that one Colorado doctor reported Sierra to Human Services for refusing chemotherapy for Landon.
“They are not only forcing me to do something against my will as a parent, they are forcing me to make my child sick,” Riddle said to CBS4.
I apologize that it has taken me a couple of days to get this update out to everyone. I want to thank each of you that have written to us on FB, called, and sent us texts and love. Your support means more than we can ever express.
It’s taken me a couple of days to think through everything and process all that has occurred. I arrived here in CO late Tuesday afternoon and it has been constant issues since the plane touched down. Bless Sierra’s heart, the water pump in her car went out, the entire floor of her living space flooded with a water leak, Landon has really bad allergies that are making him cranky and not feeling good, and the cherry on the cake, meeting with CPS and the doctors.
The meeting with CPS and the doctors went better than we expected in that CPS was amazing, supportive and very professional. The team that they have here does an amazing job and we could tell from the beginning that they no more wanted to be involved in this than we did. However, they have no choice, just as we seem to have no choice. They did a great job mediating the meeting between the doctors and us and we appreciate the support that they gave us and continue to give us.
The doctors however are a totally different story. One of the doctors was in the meeting and her boss was conferenced in on the phone. He was arrogant, rude, condescending and continued to remind us that he is the expert. However, it is apparent that the only thing he is an expert in is chemo. He admitted that in the 30 days that he had to review Landon’s file, he never even looked at it, never reviewed how Landon had done through the previous chemo treatment, and could not report anything specific to Landon. All he did was spout the numbers and the data of leukemia and chemo. He was not even interested in hearing how Landon was doing, how he is responding to the cannabis treatment and the special diet. He did not care AT ALL nor even asked any questions on how Landon was doing. He was not interested in whether the treatment Landon is currently is on is working, all he cared about was that Landon is not on chemo.
We agreed to go and talk to the doctor that was in the room, which by the way has only seen Landon one time before this, yet she also seems to be an ‘expert’ on him and his treatment. Which what we have come to realize is that all the doctors do is follow big pharma’s ‘road map’ for treatment for Landon’s type of chemo. They just ‘follow the road map of prescribed treatment’ for his leukemia. There is nothing individualized in any of it. They report that ‘most’ kids do just fine, however, as we experienced, Landon is not ‘most’ kids and he did not do ‘just fine’. The doctor in the meeting reported that they were willing to review his past treatment file and make adjustments to his treatment plan that would be more individualized to him so we agreed to meet with her the next day, which was Thursday. We were hopeful, believing that they were going to work with us. We were wrong.
Thursday we met with the doctor only to discover that the only concession they were willing to make was to cut the steroid dosage in half. That’s it, no other concession. The chemo is still the exact same as the road map prescribes. We were in shock and as the day wore on, the reality set in hard and fast.
We have no choice. Without an oncologist to testify in court that there are other options to treat cancer besides chemo, we will lose. Our attorney stated it, other doctors have stated it, end of story. We have no choice but to put Landon through more chemo until we can find an oncologist that is brave enough to stand up for what is right for compassionate care for all children with cancer.
Chemo starts on Monday. To say that we are devastated is putting it lightly. To put a child through more chemo who is in remission is insane. It is child abuse. We just cannot believe it. We are all stunned. However, we have no choice. We just pray that the cannabis will protect him from further damage and side effects.
CNN has been here filming us through all of this and they have been amazing support. We will continue to fight for awareness that there are other options besides poisoning your body. We will continue to fight to advocate for all the children with cancer. We will continue to fight the fight for all children and for Landon, who cannot fight for themselves.
In this 10 minute video below produced by PBS a few years ago, you can learn about some of this medical research on marijuana conducted at the University of California in San Diego. You can also hear how marijuana helped one woman become seizure free when all other drugs failed. When PBS interviewed a doctor who is against marijuana, his main complaint was that marijuana was not tested and approved by the FDA. He correctly observed that the natural herb contains more than 60 active components that have never been tested in isolation, which is how drugs are produced and patented.
PBS also interviewed an Oncology physician who has studied marijuana and states that it contains: “anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and probably anti-cancer compounds in it.” He prescribes marijuana for his cancer patients for “their loss of appetite, nausea, pain, depression, and insomnia.” He says this one drug, marijuana, can replace 5 prescription drugs.
The video by PBS will also show that although the pharmaceutical industry is trying to convince people marijuana is “untested” or even dangerous, major pharmaceutical companies have already filed many patents on synthetic versions of the Cannabinoids found in marijuana for a variety of diseases, including cancer.
Purchase the DVD – Free Shipping Available! Click image to view the trailer.