Mykayla Comstock, 7, of Milwaukie, Ore., has been engaged in a fight for her life with an aggressive form of cancer known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia since June after physicians found a massive tumor inside her chest.
To help soothe the impact of her chemotherapy treatments, shortly after the diagnosis, Mykayla’s mother enrolled her in the state’s medical marijuana program and each day the girl ingests a gram of cannabis oil encapsulated in a pill.
Erin Purchase’s decision to make her daughter more comfortable with cannabis, which is legal, made it into the mainstream news two weeks ago and has sparked an online controversy, with some emails calling her unfit and telling her that she deserves prison time for her actions.
“I hope they never have to be who I am,” Purchase told the Daily Beast, referring to her critics. “I hope they never have to feel what I’m having to feel, what she’s having to feel. I’m not drugging my child. I use this for her medicine. It’s amazing, and I think people should know that.”
Since providing her daughter with the cannabis oil, Purchase says, Mykayla’s leukemia had gone into remission, which she believes is a direct result of the drug. Some recent studies have shown cannabis helps stop metastasis in certain in aggressive cancers, according to San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center.
Purchase also claims the cannabis has helped Mykayla cope with the destructive symptoms that generally accompany traditional cancer treatments.
When asked how she felt about taking a gram of cannabis oil daily, Mykayla said it made her laugh.
“It’s like everything’s funny to me,” she told The Daily Beast.
Mykayla isn’t the first child to receive medical marijuana to treat cancer.
In 2010, the condition of a 3-year-old Montana boy diagnosed with brain cancer and receiving multiple high-doses of chemotherapy was worsening. In an attempt to reduce his son’s pain, Mike Hyde secretly administered marijuana to the boy in the hospital.
“I put him on the oil and he started eating again, his quality of life completely changed, and we were told it was a miracle,” Hyde told Fox News. “He was sitting up and laughing again.”
The boy was released from the hospital in January of 2011 with a positive prognosis, according to Hyde.
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