The story of DC’s first minor patient and inspiration for Jackson’s Courage is below. Jackson Leyden’s family was instrumental in bringing CBD oil to market in DC.
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Jackson Philip Leyden was born on March 4, 2003, at Georgetown University Hospital. His birth was normal and he developed quickly, taking his first steps at 10 months. Jackson has always been an almost preternaturally thoughtful and kind boy and received the Bernard T. Janney Award in 2nd grade for being respectful and considerate of others. He enjoys outdoor activities, playing with his younger brother Declan, and reading.
In the spring of 2011, when he turned eight years old, he had his first visible seizure and was evaluated at Georgetown University Hospital, but received no definitive diagnosis. Since then, he has been evaluated at the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, the NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, and was a patient at the Children’s National Medical Center Comprehensive Pediatric Epilepsy Program. His only diagnosis has been “Jackson’s Disease.”
Jackson has endured more than 50 nights in the hospital, several traumatic falls, scores of missed school days, and has tried and failed 13 antiepileptic medications—all with very difficult side effects. He also received multiple rounds of methylprednisolone and IVIG infusions.
One of his family’s most heart-wrenching experiences was when, after multiple generalized tonic-clonic seizures in the hospital, he asked his parents to put his stuffed lion in his suitcase, so it would be safe. Then, he asked if he was going to die.
Thanks to cannabis therapy, however, Jackson made huge strides in cognition and social-emotional skills that enabled him to go back to school — even become an honour roll student! Jackson has experienced a significant reduction in his seizures and will go weeks with no seizures.
Jackson is the first minor in the DC medical cannabis program and even got to name the strain that has been working for him – Jackson’s Courage by Holistic Remedies and exclusive to Takoma Wellness Center.
Jackson’s family, Holistic, and Takoma Wellness Center are hopeful for Jackson’s future as a result of being able to give him this medicine.