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Imagine waiting more than nine years to hear the sound of your child’s voice.
At birth, Abiel and Gladys Santiago of Puerto Rico knew something was not right with their son. At just 10 months old, Kalel was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer called neuroblastoma, and spent more than two years undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. Then came the next diagnosis: severe, non-verbal autism.
While Kalel was in the hospital fighting cancer, his parents noticed some odd behavior, like hand flapping and walking around on his toes. However they waited till he was 3 years old and cancer free before looking into it further.
So, Abiel and Gladys began a cram course in educating themselves on autism. They tried various schools and therapies, and eventually found impressive success with a unique surf-therapy school near their home. Then, through an April fundraising event for that program, the Santiagos happened upon a treatment that would quickly change their lives: hemp oil, rich in the compound cannabidiol (aka CBD), which has been shown to dramatically ease symptoms of both epilepsy and autism.
They took home the tiny sample bottle of spray and began giving their son twice daily doses, as directed on the label, right into his mouth. And the results, they say, were startling: Kalel started talking — in just two days.
While at school he surprised the teacher by saying the vowels A-E-I-O-U. It was the first time ever. The teacher recorded him and sent it to his astonished parents. The only thing different in their treatments, was using the CBD.
Soon after, he mastered consonants. And then he said, “Amo mi mama,” “I love my mom.”
Kalel’s story is just one more in a sea of examples of how CBD can help people in need.
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