Sunday is Epilepsy Awareness Day, a day to remember the 3 million people in the U.S. who live with the chronic disorder, many of who are children.
Jayden's Journey, the first kid friendly marijuana dispensary in the U.S. located in Modesto held an Epilepsy Awareness Day support group for people living with the disease. They promote medical cannabis, CBD drops called Jayden's Juice, to help those living with epilepsy. Nearly 300 people gathered at the dispensary to talk about the alternative approach and share their success with moving away from pharmaceuticals to treat the disorder.
People were crying while sharing their experiences with Jayden's Juice. The youngest patient was 6 month old Zaia Say-Mao. She has epilepsy. During the interview Zaia woke up, opened her eyes laid still and her mother Sarina got emotional.
“I was so used to her having seizures that I stopped counting and now that I don’t see her its just like," said Sarina Say-Moa, who's 6-month-old daughter has epilepsy. “It is a happy moment for me".
She said her daughter, Zaia, was taking 5 pills a day. Her pills were cut this week and she started the CBD oil. Now Zaia isn't screaming like usual. She was just one of many stories, all very similar.
Many of the families traveled from out of town for the support group. JoJo is from San Fransisco, he has taken the drops for epilepsy for four years. His mom Karina Garcia said JoJo went from taking 25 pills a day to 5.
“Once we started him on CBD oil we noticed a big difference right away and we weaned him off of the pharmaceuticals," Karina said.
These parents said they felt like cannabis saved their children's lives ,even though it is not FDA approved to help with epilepsy. And despite California law, federal law says marijuana is illegal.
Jason David, founded the support group, Jayden's Juice and the dispensary.
“We're not a pot shop we are a medical health clinic," David said.
His son suffers from epilepsy and he said marijuana saved his son's life.
“Its not just seeing a person get better its giving them hope because they have lost their hope. Yeah a lot of dispensary’s are dope dealers but we are the hope healers because we are healing people that have lost hope," David said.