Since it was revealed that researchers in Edinburgh and London are seeking approval for cannabis-based drug trials for treating childhood epilepsy, the interest has been phenomenal.
For the many thousands of parents of children who suffer from complex forms of epilepsy it is hope for a life without the relentless seizures.
It is even hoped that some of the damage and debilitating effects of their children’s epilepsy, which can leave them profoundly disabled, can be reversed.
No-one expects miracles, but there is good evidence that medical marijuana – the non-harmful compound within the cannabis plant – can have a dramatic impact, so we have to get these trials off the ground.
That Edinburgh University, through the Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre, The Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) Edinburgh and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London are championing trials is a very significant step forward.
But it is only a first step. For such trials to take place, they need funding and in today’s world that means funding from charitable donations.
As the mother of a 17-year-old boy with Dravet Syndrome, I know his chances of benefiting from such trials are limited. However, as the founder and fundraiser for the Muir Maxwell Trust, the charity my husband and I set up in our son’s name, I want these trials for the children who come after Muir. It is for them that we need to start raising money now and fight to see these trials get under way.
The Muir Maxwell Trust