Donate $4.20 to help improve the lives of sick kids who have found relief in medical marijuana

About the #420forChange Campaign

Together, we can harness the passion and brilliance of the cannabis community for positive change.

The #420forChange campaign was created to keep pushing the marijuana movement forward to effect positive change in the world. 4/20 is a day to celebrate victories, but it should also be a day to recognize that we have the power – and thus the responsibility – to do more to help others.

 

This year, #420forChange is helping children who suffer from extremely debilitating forms of epilepsy. Children with severe intractable epilepsy can have hundreds of seizures a day, and traditional pharmaceuticals are either ineffective or come with terrible side effects. Recently, some families have found that high-CBD strains of medical marijuana can greatly reduce the number of seizures their child experiences (and in some cases, eliminating them completely). However, the costs involved in getting safe access to this amazing medicine are causing financial hardship for many. We’re collecting donations for four families in need. We would love your support.

The Kids

Donate $4.20 to Support These Four Superheroes and Their Families

Liam

Zen

Kyla

Remington

Read Their Stories

Liam's Story

Liam“Liam is 6 years old and lives with Dravet Syndrome; it is a rare, catastrophic form of epilepsy for which there is currently no cure. Current treatment options are extremely limited and the prognosis for children diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome is unknown. Liam will always battle seizures, he faces a diminished quality of life and all known affected teenagers and adults are dependent on caregivers. The mortality rate is 20%, with most deaths occurring during sleep likely due to SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy). As a result of continuous seizures and the side effects of the multiple medications, his delays are severe and he is constantly at risk of having intractable seizures causing permanent damage or death.

“We were at the end of our medical journey and had exhausted all treatment options. After years of doctors failing to stop Liam’s seizures we made a decision to try cannabis. We felt like time was running out for him. He had endured catastrophic, devastating seizures since he was 9 months old, failed 10 antiepileptic medications and as each day passed he was getting worse. He was unable to walk, speak or eat due to the constant seizing and we felt like Liam may even die if we didn’t act.

“In June 2014, within 24 hours of receiving his first dose of cannabis he was seizure free, from 67 seizures to 0 and he continued to have seizure free days for another 10 days. For the first time in two years Liam wasn’t seizing – everyday! Cannabis has allowed us to wean all of Liam’s anti-epileptic medications and he continues to thrive on just cannabis as a treatment with a 90% reduction in his seizures. Liam takes his cannabis, which is a high CBD, low THC strain in the form of a coconut oil.

“We have worked tirelessly to find a treatment that will simply give our son a break – to just be a kid. Our life, to most people, is an unfathomable, constant state of emergency and Liam’s life is constantly at stake. Many other Canadian children are in need of relief from intractable seizures. This is not a drug issue; this is a compassion issue.

“It’s hard to meet him and not be touched by his angelic, sincere, pure love. He inspires all of us every day to fight. We are so inspired by Liam; he LIVES despite the adversity he faces every day of his life.

My hero.”

– Liam’s Mom

Zen's Story

Z“My son Z is 6.5 years old. He suffered a lack of oxygen during his birth. He has cerebral palsy, vision impairment, and intractable epilepsy.

“Z suffers from all types of seizures, tonic- clonic, grand mal, absence seizure, and infantile spasms. He has global developmental delay, he cannot sit, stand, walk, eat, or speak.

“Since his epilepsy is drug resistant, no medications are helpful for him. At one time he was on 21 medications. All of them were seizure meds and the rest were to control their side effects. Finally, the Hospital for Sick Kids started him on the Ketogenic diet and took him off all seizure meds. We were told to go home and live with his seizures, since they cannot do anything else for us. And according to the hospital, he will always have seizures and we just have to accept his condition.

“Z was having over 100 seizures a day. Some days they were even more. And then he has started to have seizures while sleeping. Sadly, he made no sound. Therefore, he slept in my arms hugging me, and I woke up every time his body stiffened. Some nights he was awake all night because after the seizure, he was wide awake.

“The hospital had given up on Z. But I could not. I started to research on medicinal cannabis. I went to LA, and met with parents giving Charlotte’s Web to their kids. One of them was compassionate and shared a dose with Z. That day for the first time in his life Z was seizure free for 24 hours. I knew then this is what we need for Z. I spent almost a year looking for some one who could prescribe cannabis to Z.

“I was very fortunate to find Justin Whitehall from Simcoe Holistic. The doctor was very educated on the strains and after discussing the best strain we decided to go with Bedrocan. Bedrolite is almost close to Charlotte’s Web strain. It took us six months to adjust the accurate and appropriate dose. I am pleased to announce Z has been seizure free for the past 6 months. Not only his seizures have been controlled, but he also has gained a lot of milestones. This is nothing more than a miracle drug for us.”

– Z’s Mom

Kyla's Story

Kyla“Kyla Williams was born February 1, 2012, with no complications. She appeared completely normal. Development progressed to three months of age, when we started noticing upper eye movement. Kyla was a very healthy little girl, however, at four months of age she seemed to be slowing down in development and by six months she was referred to a paediatrician who immediately recognized symptoms of Epilepsy.

“Kyla was sent to Vancouver Children’s Hospital where many blood tests , EEGs, MRI, cardio test, metabolic tests etc, were performed, drugs were tried and failed, and many doctors analyzed Kyla’s condition. After three weeks in Hospital, the only answer we had was that Kyla has Epilepsy with abnormal brain activity which was causing her cortical visual impairment.

“To date, after extensive DNA testing in the USA, there is no known syndrome or disorder for this type of impairment. No mutant gene was found to show a cause. We were told she most likely was having seizures in her sleep since about two months of age. Kyla was released from Children’s Hospital with ACTH steroid injections to be given every second day at our local hospital. She soon had adverse side effects from the steroids so a wean began and the Ketogenic Diet along with three new pharmaceutical drugs were introduced. Relief from the seizures was achieved for about six months, though she was noticeably sleepy and despondent. Seizures reappeared and escalated by Christmas 2013 with no relief from altered medications.

“Her seizures were now happening 100 times per day. There were so many we could not count them. We had heard from others about an alternative therapy, a high-CBD low-THC form of medical cannabis, used by many epileptic kids in Colorado. When we asked the team at the Children’s Hospital they said it is illegal, not available in Canada and no clinical trials had been done. We thought we had other options at that point and we went home with more pharmaceutical drugs to try. By this time, Kyla had developed a kidney stone from the drugs and diet. The reality of the situation emerged after another visit to Children’s Hospital. The doctors told us there are no further drug options available and her life expectancy would be shortened. By February 2014, Kyla had seizures non-stop all day, with the rescue medicine being administered every other day. To say the least, she was a non-functional little girl.

“Kyla started on high CBD oil in April 2014 which did not stop the seizures. After a week or two we moved on to higher CBD low THC oil and within the hour her seizures appeared to stop and she has had relatively few seizures since. The story continues with the hope for a brighter future…

“Through Kyla, we were able to create a Charitable Organization of caring friends who manage the fundraising and donations which are then used to assist a few families directly with the payment of the cannabis oil they use for their children (medicalcannabisforsickkids.com). These families have many expenses due to the severity of their child’s condition. Most have rejected pharmaceutical options like Kyla and continue to deteriorate. On the oil, all the 8 children being helped through Kyla’s Quest are showing some sign of improvement and some doing extremely well. This is not a cure but we look for the best quality of life possible. Did you know that 1 in 26 people, over 65 million, suffer from Epilepsy and 30% of those have intractable (uncontrolled) form of Epilepsy. They are all very unique and no 2 are the same. Let us hope one day we will have the right cannabis oil for the particular need.”

– Kyla’s Grandmother

Remington's Story

51046pentictonS-Remmington“Hi I am Remington Nate Swanson. I am the 2 1/2 year old son of Ashley Aitchison and Clayton Swanson. I have a severe form of epilepsy called myoclonic seizures and can have up to 200 hundred seizures a day. They were triggered when I suffered a stroke at birth. To date the doctors have tried 12 different pharmaceutical drugs to try and control them. None of these have worked and have caused bad side effects. We were running out of options for me and if we didn’t get control soon I was going to continue deteriorating, suffering more brain damage and serious developmental issues.

“On the advice of my paediatrician my parents were recommended I try medical marijuana that is an industrial hemp plant with high CBD and very low THC. I have now been taking this medicine for approximately 7 months and it has been relieving my seizures which has given me time to significantly progress in my development areas. I am now able to stand with support and I am way more focused and aware of things around me than ever before and my mom loves it when I look at her and smile.

“This medicine is illegal in oil form for medical purposes but legal in dry form which is to smoke it. I am obviously unable to smoke nor are other minors, or adults who also have serious conditions that prevent them from being able to smoke it. “

The #420forChange fundraiser has ended. Thanks to all who donated!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who we are, what this is, and why

What is #420forChange?

#420forChange is a fundraising campaign we started. It begins now and runs until… you guessed it! April 20!

Who are you?

We’re the people behind Lift!

Why did you start #420forChange?

We love seeing how, year after year, cannabis is becoming more accepted in society, both for recreational and medicinal purposes. April 20 (ie 4/20 Day) has become a celebration of these massive cultural and legal gains, and it’s pretty darn awesome. But we wondered: What’s next? How can we help direct this amazing energy and excitement towards causes that will have positive impacts on the lives of people who are still struggling despite these gains? So we came up with #420forChange. Hopefully it’s a small start to something big.

Where does my donation go?

Every single penny donated (excluding credit card processing fees levied by PayPal) will be divided equally amongst the four families highlighted above. One of our superheroes, Kyla, has previously started her own charitable organization, Kyla’s Quest, and so her family will in turn distribute proceeds she receives from #420forChange to even more families. Pretty cool, right?

Do I get a charitable receipt?

Unfortunately, we’re not a registered charity and so can’t provide you with a charitable receipt. But we’ve got loads of hugs available, if you want one.

I’ve just donated $420,000. What else can I do to help?

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and share the #420forChange campaign with your friends and family!

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a group of neurological disorders characterized by epileptic seizures. Epileptic seizures are episodes that can vary from brief and nearly undetectable to long periods of vigorous shaking. In epilepsy, seizures tend to recur, and have no immediate underlying cause while seizures that occur due to a specific cause are not deemed to represent epilepsy.

What is intractable epilepsy?

Intractable epilepsy is a seizure disorder in which a patient’s seizures fail to come under control with treatment. These seizures are sometimes also called “uncontrolled” or “refractory.”

What is the connection between intractable epilepsy and medical marijuana?

Liam, Zen, Kyla, and Remi were all unable to get their seizures under control with conventional pharmaceuticals. It was only through experimenting with high-CBD strains of marijuana that they found success. The result? From dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of seizures a day down to essentially zero. Some have been seizure-free for months. It’s been nothing short of remarkable. And miraculous. Miraculously remarkable.

Why do these families need money? Doesn’t insurance cover medicine like marijuana?

Medical marijuana is not covered by insurance or any medical plan. Families are forced to cover the high costs of medical marijuana all on their own. Furthermore, there are often added costs involved in converting the medical marijuana into a form suitable for children.

Updates

Updates via our Facebook Page. Make sure you check us out there!

Contact Us

Have more questions? Contact us and we’ll try to help!

Heard enough? Then maybe it’s time to dust off that wallet and make a donation!