Some forces in the world are so strong that they win over fear and pain. Such is the tremendous strength of a mother when protecting her children. When Carrie Blackwell’s son Deryn exhausted all options of modern medicine, she risked spending 14 years behind bars, when giving him cannabis in an attempt to at least alleviate his symptoms. This risky choice not only removed Deryn’s suffering, but also may have become the missing puzzle piece that led to his recovery.
This recovery was astonishing as Deryn’s health turned from serious to life-threatening.
At the age of 10, Deryn was diagnosed with leukemia, and two years later he developed an extremely rare cancer called Langerhans cell sarcoma, which appeared in his tonsils. Langerhans cell sarcoma has only been reported in English literature a total of 37 times, and Deryn is one of five people said to have had it in the world today.
Not only did he have this rare cancer, he is also the said to be the only boy in the world to have these two cancers at the same time. For this reason, he has been called “The Boy in 7 Billion,” which is also the name of Carrie’s book, which tells Deryn’s story in full detail.
Deryn has four unsuccessful bone marrow transplants, which left his immune system completely shut down. He was surviving merely on antibiotics. And after a four-year battle, at the age of 14, he was placed into a children’s hospice.
“Standing in the dimly lit bedroom in the hospice looking over the body of my sleeping eldest son, I couldn’t hold back the words, or emotions, any longer. As tears rolled down my face, my thoughts came tumbling out loud… ‘This isn’t fair, this isn’t right. You’re only 14 years old,'” writes Carrie in her book.
At this time, Deryn was only given a few days left to live. Yet, he was in such an unimaginable pain and suffering that he wanted to and attempted to kill himself. He even begged his mom to take him to Brussels, because he heard that there, it is legal to use euthanasia for children over the age of 12.
“It sounds awful, but he looked forward to dying because after being ill for four years, he just wanted an end to it,” Carrie said.
Feeling desperate, she did something she was absolutely hesitant to do for a long time – she gave her son a cannabis tincture in hopes that it would relieve his pain at least a little bit. She had no hopes of her son surviving, as he had already planned his funeral. She also knew was she did was illegal in the U.K.
“I was willing to face 14 years, every single day of 14-year sentence, just to give him the alleviation that it gave him,” she said.
Cannabis worked immediately – Deryn felt relaxed, and no longer anxious or in pain. For his mom, that is more than she could have ever asked for. But something remarkable, something completely unexpected has also happened. After five days of cannabis, Deryn’s body began producing white blood cells needed for the body to heal. At day 104, he felt completely well.
“Honestly the effects of it blew my mind. It wasn’t what I expected,” Carrie told This Morning show.
She asked the doctor if it could be any drugs that they gave him and was told – no. She says she even tested if it was the cannabis by stopping this treatment, and the white blood count fell again.
Carrie does not believe that cannabis cured Deryn, yet she finds no answer, other than it was cannabis that provided the final and needed push needed for Deryn’s recovery.
Some call this recovery a “medical miracle.” Many do not believe in miracles, and yet, Deryn today is alive, out of the hospital, and is about to celebrate his 18th birthday at the end of the year.
Did Medical Cannabis Research Become a Black and White Issue?
There are many articles covering this story calling this as a direct proof that cannabis cures cancer. And some commenters get upset that this story is being represented as a cannabis-cure story. In reality, we do not know that for sure – not yet. Science has not proven cannabis to “cure” cancer, but it is important to recognize that it also has not proven the opposite – it has not proven that cannabis does not cure cancer, and it has shown many beneficial effects for those who suffer.
Many studies, even quoted by the American Cancer Organization, has shown its powerful ability to kill cancer cells in the lab: cannabinoids (active compounds in marijuana) prevented tumor growth and promoted cancer cell death in rats and mice, reduced the risk of colon cancer in mice, killed liver cancer cells, and made chemotherapy more effective.
Besides killing cancer cells, studies have also shown cannabis to be useful for stimulating appetite (a real issue for cancer patients), relieving pain, controlling nausea caused by chemo, and calming anxiety.
Thoughts on The Double Standard Between Chemo and Cannabis
Personally, I believe that there is an unfair double standard in the modern-versus-alternative medicine conversation.
Chemotherapy, the most commonly-used cancer treatment today, is not a magic bullet. Even the Cancer Society does not claim that it kills cancer cells, instead phrasing it as ‘it helps to kills cancer cells.’ But when a powerful herb or a supplement helped to heal someone from cancer, suddenly it does not count, because it is said that it did not cure it alone.
Chemo drugs are rarely given separately; a few if not a dozen are usually needed to treat a patient. Yet, when it comes to cannabis, it sometimes becomes a black and white issue – it either cures cancer does not. What if the truth is somewhere in the middle: what if it helps when used in combination with other treatments, either conventional or alternative, but helps so greatly, that is may be a difference between life and death? Meanwhile, unlike chemo, cannabis’s tiny side effects cannot hurt or kill the patient.
Deryn’s mom herself keeps repeating that she does never claim and does not believe that cannabis cured Deryn. However, she wants the medical establishment to do more research to find out what medical properties cannabis does have. After all, it jump started Daryn’s immune system, and if it was not for cannabis, he might not have been alive today. Besides, the way it alleviated Daryn’s suffering may be priceless. And for the Blackwell family, that made all the difference.
Today, Carrie is an active advocate for medical cannabis research. Just recently, she traveled to Portugal to meet with the pioneers of this research. You can follow her mission on her website, and read the emotional story of her son in the book “The Boy in 7 Billion.”
Watch just one of the many reports about Deryn’s recovery:
This inspirational boy had two weeks to live when diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer.But thanks to cannabis, his recovery story is incredible, and needs to be shared ?
Posted by UNILAD on Sunday, June 11, 2017
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