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NEWS STORIES

Family hopes Wisc. legislators quickly pass cannabis oil bill to help son battling seizuresSubmitted: 03/18/2014

Adam Fox
6 & 10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com

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PRICE COUNTY - Seizures seem almost like a normal, scary routine for Krista Blomberg and her family living near Ogema. But she still remembers the first time she saw her son have a seizure.

"We just hear this really, a noise we couldn't place, and ran back there and he was having a seizure, " Krista said.

Landon was 4 1/2 years old the first time Krista and her husband saw him having a seizure.

"First one probably either one of us had ever seen," Krista said.

But it wouldn't be the last. The Blomberg's have battled Landon's seizures for more nearly 13 years.

Landon,18 , suffers from cortical dispasia. That occurs when the top layer of the brain does not form properly, according to Cincinnati Children's Medical Center. It is one of the most common causes of epilepsy.

The Blomberg's have tried eight different medications over the years and even considered a brain operation, but doctors couldn't guarantee it would stop the seizures. So the family had to refocus.

"And figure out there aren't any other options here," Krista said. "(It was like) what do we do now."

They continue to use medication, four different types right now, but Landon's seizures haven't stopped.

That's when Krista found out about cannabis oil. It is a product of the marijuana plant, but it doesn't contain enough THC to alter perceptions. And some people believe the oil could help treat and prevent seizures. That turned into a promising opportunity for the Blombergs.

"Oh my goodness this is helping people who have seizures like Landon," Krista said. "His seizures just don't respond well to medication. He continues to have them even though he is taking all of these meds."

That's one reason why lawmakers listened to a bipartisan bill in the Wisconsin State Assembly Tuesday. It passed the Assembly and will head to the Senate.

The bill would let physicians prescribe cannabis oil to people suffering from seizures.

For the Blomberg's, that could mean reducing the number of Landon's seizures.

That would also help him communicate better. Krista says the seizures make it more difficult for Landon to gather and communicate his thoughts.

"But it was really over the longer haul that you'd see it harder and harder for him to get his thoughts out (after seizures)."

His mother says he can communicate better during weeks with fewer seizures.

She describes the pace and rate of seizures as a roller coaster because they never really know when he could get hit with repeated bout of seizures.

"One a week is a good week." Krista said. "A bad week, he'll have multiple nights of three four five, probably about three weeks ago he had ten seizures one night, and it was just, that was a horrible night."

But there are spurts where Landon only has a few seizures. That's when she friends and family notice Landon being more talkative.

"And it's like he's like that all the time inside, you know," Krista said. "He has all of this that he wants to say and interact and he can't."

The family hopes cannabis oil and lawmakers can help. Legislators will need to act quickly if they want to pass the bill this year. That's because they are nearing the end of their session.

Landon was not available for an interview for this story, but he did pass along a speech he put together for the forensic club he has been working with at school.

He says," I've tried many kinds of medication and other treatments like the ketogenic diet and surgery to control my seizures without success. I still hope that someday we will find treatment that will work better for me."





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