Blog: Page 46

Lolly Bentch Myers: My daughter needs medical cannabis

Anna has Mesial Temporal Sclerosis and intractable epilepsy. At her worst, Anna can experience more than 100 seizures every day.

Medical cannabis gives my family hope.

You don’t know me, but I hope you’ll take a moment to learn more about my daughter, Anna.

When Anna was born, she was a healthy 9 lbs, 10 oz. For the first two years of her life, she was like any other healthy toddler — full of laughter and curiosity about the world around her. She was really bright, had an incredible vocabulary, and loved to recite her ABCs.

But then on the day of Anna’s second birthday, something took our delightful little girl away.

Anna started behaving very strangely. She became angry and didn’t like being around people. She couldn’t remember her ABCs. She threw uncontrollable tantrums.

After countless visits to numerous doctors, she was initially diagnosed with Autism. Shortly thereafter, she was diagnosed with Mesial Temporal Sclerosis, which caused cognitive delays, intellectual deficit, sleep disorder, anxiety, and intractable epilepsy.

At her worst, Anna was experiencing more than 100 seizures every day.

Over the past several years, we’ve taken her to specialists at Hershey Medical Center, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Pittsburgh. We’ve tried at least ten different pharmaceutical drugs and tried special diets — nothing has worked.

But there is one form of medicine that gives our family hope for Anna: Medical cannabis.

In Pennsylvania, that means my family has to make a choice between breaking the law or not getting our daughter the medicine she needs. No family should have to make that choice.

Thankfully, Governor Tom Wolf agrees and supports medical cannabis. Tom has always been in our corner and he has been fighting to give more than just hope to families like mine — he wants to make cannabis legal for the medical treatment of illnesses and diseases.

Next week, the Legislature will vote on medical cannabis and I hope you’ll join me in signing Governor Wolf’s petition to urge passage of Senate Bill 3.

Since Anna’s diagnosis, many people have asked why I don’t just move to one of the 23 states where medical cannabis is legal, such as: California, Colorado, or Washington. I love Pennsylvania and this is where Anna’s siblings, grandparents, her aunts, uncles, and friends live. These are more than just family and friends — they are our support system.

No family should ever have to move to get the medicine a loved one needs.

I love my daughter and I embrace the challenges facing our family, but I will never be okay knowing my only option to give her the treatment she needs are to break the law or move.

That’s why passing Senate Bill 3 and legalizing medical cannabis is so important. Please stand with Governor Wolf and families like mine before next week’s vote — sign the petition.

Thank you.

Tom Wolf: It wasn’t luck that detected my treatable cancer

Frances and I recently learned I have prostate cancer that was thankfully detected early after a regular checkup revealed abnormalities.

I am very thankful that my doctors caught this cancer quickly and have worked with me to plan a treatment schedule that will address my medical issues and allow me to serve the people of Pennsylvania.

These treatments do not present any impairment to my ability to perform my duties as governor.

Frances and I recently learned I have prostate cancer that was thankfully detected early after a regular checkup revealed abnormalities.

I am very thankful that my doctors caught this cancer quickly and have worked with me to plan a treatment schedule that will address my medical issues and allow me to serve the people of Pennsylvania.

These treatments do not present any impairment to my ability to perform my duties as governor.

And while prostate cancer can be a serious disease, it has a nearly 100% survival rate if detected early, which is one of the reasons why I decided to make my diagnosis public.

It wasn’t luck that caught this at such an early stage — it was a regular checkup with my doctor.

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. The majority of cases are detected in men aged 65 or older. Depending on health history, all men aged between 45 and 50 should have a conversation with their doctor about beginning regular screenings.

I’m 67 years old — just above the average age for prostate cancer — and I’ve been getting screenings as part of my regular checkup for years.

I encourage everyone in Pennsylvania to make sure they schedule checkups with their doctors and to learn more about screening guidelines so early detection and treatment can be possible.

Here’s a helpful article from the American Cancer Society on the regular screenings men and women should get:

American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer
http://www.cancer.org/healthy/findcancerearly/cancerscreeningguidelines/american-cancer-society-guidelines-for-the-early-detection-of-cancer

As your governor, as a husband, and as a father of two wonderful daughters, I promise to keep fighting for increased access to healthcare for all Pennsylvanians and increased awareness on the importance of routine checkups and screenings.

Thank you.