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Irish mother to climb 764-metres mountain for medical cannabis for her son 

Irish mother to climb 764-metres mountain for medical cannabis for her son 

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Nothing compares to the love of a mother, and there is no limit to an Irish mother’s resolute when trying to save her son Michael. 

That’s the case of Noreen O’Neill, whose almost 2-year-old son Michael suffers from a neurological condition. She is will be taking her campaigning for the legalization of medicinal cannabis to the next level.

On Sunday, O’Neill will be climbing Croagh Patrick, nicknamed the Reek, which is a 764 metres mountain and an important site of pilgrimage in County Mayo, Ireland.

On Sunday, July 1st, Vera Twomey and I will climb Croagh Patrick for all those in need of medicinal cannabis here in Ireland,” she wrote on a Facebook page. “We welcome everyone and anyone to climb with us, and for those who can’t climb, to come in support.”

“Bring a picnic, make a day of it, the weather forecast is looking good! We will be wearing purple for epilepsy. Change is close, we have to keep driving on the fight for this medicine.”

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Noreen with her son Michael. (Image via Facebook)

While urging campaigners to wear purple for epilepsy, in March last year, Michael left the hospital with a diagnosis of Bilateral Frontal Polymicrogyria, a neurological disorder, and developmental delay.

The Irish Journal website reported in January that O’Neill had written to the Minister for Health to urge him to legalize medicinal cannabis products in Ireland.

O’Neill wrote the letter after she tried CBD oil for her son especially after Michael’s doctors had tried ten anticonvulsant drugs to address his seizures.

Seven licenses for CBD

While the government has granted seven licences for her son’s use of medicinal cannabis, O’Neill now needs higher dosages of THC to treat him. 

She says the severity of Michael’s seizures has reduced through the use of CBD oil, and now he needs THC, a more potent form of cannabis oil, the Irish Examiner reported.

Before using CBD, Michael’s seizures were so frequent they became “normal,” O’Neill said in a previous interview, adding that none of the drugs his doctors were trying with him were working.

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In September last year, he had to have a tube put into his nose to be fed through and he became unable to swallow his own saliva.

In the letter to the minister, O’Neill said her son’s medical care had already cost the Health Service Executive (HSE) almost €26,000 ($40,080 CDN). She said these costs could have been reduced if treatment with CBD oil was tried earlier on.

Medical marijuana in Ireland

A legislation to legalize the prescription of medicinal cannabis has now been stalled in Ireland.  However, use of marijuana – CBD or THC – for medical purposes requires case-by-case approval by the Minister for Health.

But cannabis remains not an authorized medicinal product in Ireland and so would not be prescribed by a doctor.

If required, doctors can apply to the Minister for Health for a licence if they believe a course of cannabis treatment is the best option, and if they are prepared to monitor the effects of the treatment long-term.

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