Little Sadie Higuera is a model for what it means to fight for one’s life. She’s a testament for what hope and bravery can accomplish in a moment of utmost desperation and she’s living proof of the efficacy of a little green plant we know as cannabis. She’s a gorgeous child with a beautiful heart and we’d like to share her story with you.
Last year Sadie’s parents, Brian and Damaris, sat before their daughter’s neurologist, heads spinning… Did she really just say that? Is this it? Are we going to lose our little girl? Since the day she was born, doctors and family members knew that Sadie’s life was a fragile one and 3 months after that day, she experienced her first grand mal seizure, but that was just the beginning of a turn for the worse. Soon, she was experiencing upwards of 300 seizures a day, many of which were uncontrollable to the point of her having to be resuscitated. She came under the supervision of 13 specialists, a grocery bag full of trial medications, and yet nothing was working.
Soon, she was experiencing upwards of 300 seizures a day, many of which were uncontrollable to the point of resuscitation.
“It was like she was always sleeping. All the doctors were doing were sedating her – That’s all they could do for her,” Brian said. They tried everything. Beyond the seizures, Sadie’s body was being overtaken by numerous tumors, her health was quickly slipping between her doctor’s fingertips, and her quality of life was dwindling. She’d been diagnosed with an extremely rare congenital neurodegenerative disease called Schinzel-Giedion Syndrome, and they had come to a point in which they had had thought they had exhausted all means of treatment.
As Brian sat before us recalling the moment that he and his wife heard those words uttered from their doctor’s lips that there were no more options for their daughter, it was a darkness that silence could not come close to paralleling, but it was a moment that lasted only a quick second because Brian was not done telling Sadie’s story and Sadie is still here with us today. How?
…it was a darkness that silence could not even parallel, but it was a moment that lasted only a quick second because Brian was not done telling Sadie’s story and Sadie is still here with us today.
That day, Sadie’s neurologist had offered her parents a ‘final’ option – a medication that would improve her quality of life and alleviate some of her suffering, but would likely kill her in only two short months. She told Brian he’d be a hero for Sadie, but on the way home from the hospital that day, Brian made a decision that would save his daughter’s life. He had his own idea of how to be a hero for Sadie. Brian Higuera decided to look into medical marijuana.
He called numerous clinics, contacted doctors, and reached out to anyone with resources about using cannabis medicinally to treat Sadie’s condition. Being that she was still only an infant, many turned down his request for help, but due to his relentless search he finally met a doctor at a local San Diego-based clinic who took on the challenge of helping the Higueras named Dr. Mark Rabe.
Brian returned home that day with a tube of hemp-derived CBD oil from another local San Diego-based company called HempMeds and went to his daughter’s side. Damaris had left the house, anxious about the results the medicine would have on her child. “I gave her a dose of the oil and after only 20 minutes, her eyes stopped twitching. 20 minutes later, I gave her another dose and her body stopped twitching. I couldn’t believe it,” said Sadie’s father. Damaris soon returned home, silently darting her eyes across her husband’s face searching for signs about how the trial had gone for their little one.
She walked into the room, took one look at Sadie and grasped her close to heart. “I have my little girl back!” Imagine that for a moment. Imagine being told that there were no other options for your child, except being a ‘hero’ and letting her go and imagine the wash of relief they felt when they experienced that first glimmer of hope. That is what cannabis means to many. That feeling is something that has become unparalleled to anything in the world today. Cannabis had given little Sadie a second chance at living life in the arms of her family.
She walked into the room, took one look at Sadie and grasped her close to heart. “I have my little girl back!” Imagine that for a moment.
As her treatment evolved with medical marijuana and her parents began making oil that was three parts CBD and one part THC, Sadie’s days became less and less interrupted by seizures. Now, she is down to about 2-5 seizures a week, an amazing improvement from the 2,000+ she had been experiencing before. Not only that, but the tumors in her body have completely disappeared. A couple months after the Higueras had started using the CBD oil, they had gone in for their routine check-up with Sadie’s radiologist. If Brian remembered correctly, the doctor said “I don’t want to freak you out or anything, but Sadie’s tumors are gone. What are you giving her?” Brian just smiled. “CBD.”
Sadie’s grandmother, who has been a part of Sadie’s treatment and supervision since she was born, said she tells everyone her story. She’s proud of her granddaughter and believes she’s here for a reason. Sadie’s family comes from a conservative background, but when the family decided to branch out and try medical marijuana, they received overwhelming support from their entire community. “Do whatever it takes!” In Sadie’s most recent check-up her scans are also showing the scoliosis in her spine is improving. She’s now trying to communicate and even eligible for physical and speech therapy.
Now, she is down to about 2-5 seizures a week, an amazing improvement from the 2,000+ she had been experiencing before. Not only that, but the tumors in her body have completely disappeared.
After spending a majority of her life with her eyes swollen shut from steroids, her little fists clenched with anxiety, and two older sisters by her side sad because she was “always sleeping,” Sadie is now making up time and living out this new quality of life cannabis has availed to her. You wouldn’t be able to get over that beautiful smile of hers that nests in her cheeks – It’s amazing… and is a smile we would never have been blessed with had it not been for Sadie’s fight for her life and her family’s decision to try cannabis.
“It’s all been such a positive experience, especially once we got her off of all the other medications she was on. You can call her terminal, you can call her what you want, but she’s not going anywhere today and we’ll take tomorrow when it comes.”
This is Sadie’s story. When Sadie’s family went back to their neurologist, she was astounded by the little girl’s progress. When they told her they had started Sadie on CBD, she nodded her head and said another patient of hers was also on that treatment. So… why did she not tell the Higueras that they did in fact have another option? Why did she offer them a medication that would end their daughter’s life if she knew of one that could possibly save it?
She didn’t offer that to the Higueras because she would have lost her medical license. Please share Sadie’s story. If our doctors don’t have the power to tell us all our options, we have to share that option with each other. We do have a choice and little Sadie is only one of the millions that have found hope with medical cannabis…