Friday, February 6, 2015

Hugh and Chris Hempel - and their daughters Addi and Cassi

I had the privilege of meeting Hugh and Chris Hempel at the Whittemore Peterson Institute in 2009. My son Peter Cairns was filming various individuals with neuroimmune illness, among them the Hempels. The Hemples' two daughters Addi and Cassi, now eleven years old, have Neimann-Pick Disease, a rare and fatal illness.

The Hempels are what every parent of a chronically ill patient aspires to be. Few achieve the level of involvement and focus that they achieve. They have set aside totally their own lives and devoted themselves to the betterment of their two ill daughters. I have followed what they have done over the last number of years with astonishment.

Today I came upon this video unexpectedly. I was surprised to hear Mr. Hempel speak on a subject that is of very great interest to me. Medical cannabis is in the news every day now. There is a great battle going on in America. The outcome is uncertain. The great states of Minnesota and Pennsylvania, two states close to my heart, are moving towards medical marijuana programs. Why does it take so long?

It is painfully obvious that cannabis, especially non-psychoactive CBD or THCa,  has certain medicinal properties and has helped, in various non-smoking forms - oils, tinctures, vaped, transdermal, suppositories -  a great many chronically ill people, including the two daughters of the Hempels.

Mr. Hempel is doing us all a great favor in presenting his experience at a Ted talk. It also takes a bit of courage, given the nature of the US Government's position regarding medical marijuana. Mr. Hempel lays out the picture, without making extreme claims, only asking for serious research into the potential of this medicinal plant.

There seems to be some use of medical marijuana in Lyme patients. Not much anecdotal experience in ME/CFS is available on the internet. Given CBD's known anti-inflammatory properties, one would wonder, why is this?

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