Tennessee Family Needs Access NOW

Thank you chairman Kelsey and committee members.  My name is Sandy Bush and I am from Knoxville.  

I am here because we need another option for people with epilepsy in our state.  Epileptic seizures are so serious that they cause permanent brain damage and they kill.  In fact, most people are unaware that epilepsy kills more people every year than breast cancer.  My son Cameron, who is almost 3, is severely developmentally delayed because of the uncontrolled seizures that he has suffered for most of his life.  Because seizures are so powerful, equally powerful medications are prescribed to control them.  They come with dangerous side effects.  Cameron has tried several medications that failed to work for him.  He is currently on three medications and the possible side effects include, permanent vision loss, memory impairment, MRI changes, aggression, poor coordination, weight loss, dangerously high blood pressure, weight gain dependence and addiction.  At times, Cam has had to be prescribed additional medications to combat the side effects of him seizure medications.  

            One third of the people with epilepsy do not respond to any of the current FDA approved treatments.  CBD, or cannabidiol, is working to reduce or stop the seizures in many of these people, without the dangerous side effects we see with other medications.   CBD is non psychoactive and is taken with a dropper in the mouth, just like liquid Tylenol.  As a mother and a Registered Nurse, I believe research is important, but current federal laws are restricting research of this treatment.  Studies that show good results have been done, but it is not easy for researchers to conduct them and they take a lot of time.  Time is not something that all of these patients have.  They need access now.  I am asking for your help for my son and others like him.  Thank you for addressing this lifesaving issue. 


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