Medical Marijuana Used for Epilepsy with Massive Benefits

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Medical marijuana used for epilepsy when Allison Sky Centennial was diagnosed at age 4. Her mother, Amy Bottoms, had no idea about how their world was going to change. Allison kept going to the hospital for ear infections, but a botched surgery caused her to get terrible seizures and migraines which the doctors said would cause her to be disabled for her whole life. Amazingly, she has gotten her life back again with medical marijuana, which has eliminated her seizures and even brought her debilitating migraines back under control. Allison Sky Centennial is just one of many examples of the immense benefits of medicinal cannabis use.

Allison’s Story

At age 4, Allison had surgery to correct her recurring ear infections. She began having seizures after this surgery due to some complications that happened during the procedure. These complications caused repeated infections which caused even more seizures. Little Allison had to go to the hospital twice a day for a year and a half to receive IV antibiotics, and even after the infection was cleared up she continued to have seizures. Eventually she received a diagnosis of intractable epilepsy.


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By the time she was 14, Allison had had another surgery, which had left her deaf in one ear, and she was taking 33 pills a day, all of which had complex side effects. Despite all the surgical and pharmaceutical interventions, she was still having around 15 seizures each day. During these seizures, she would also develop superhuman strength. This made it especially difficult for Amy to keep Allison, her siblings, and herself safe during these seizures. Allison’s school did not have an elevator and Allison was confined to a wheelchair, so Amy decided to homeschool her.

At around the same time, Amy’s mom, Allison’s grandmother, was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. She forewent conventional treatments and instead treated it with Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO). Amazingly, the tumor was gone in 3 months and she remains cancer free to this day.


Amy saw the effects that cannabis oil had on her mother, and in her research she also began to hope that cannabis could be used to treat Allison’s epilepsy. Unfortunately, in the state of Illinois, it is necessary to have the recommendation off two physicians before cannabis can be prescribed, and it was nearly impossibly difficult to transport Allison to different hospitals to find physicians who would make the recommendation. One physician, who refused to recommend cannabis, instead recommended a brain surgery which would render Allison unable to speak for the rest of her life. Undaunted, Amy continued meeting with different doctors until she was able to get the required two recommendations.

Allison began using cannabis oil on February 25, 2016. Since then, she has not had a single seizure. She has been able to get off all but five of the prescription drugs she was on. A month after beginning treatment, Allison was able to go on a hike with her family to Starved Rock. The cannabis was also effective at treating her migraines, which had plagued her for years.

Legal changes

While Allison’s story demonstrates the amazing things that are medically possible with cannabis, it also shows how far we still have to go. As a minor, Allison cannot get buds or plants, so the family cannot make their own oils. They depend on buying expensive oils, and when they cannot afford one of the varieties of oils that Allison takes, she suffers.

There has been enormous progress made in the US regarding access to medical marijuana. Just a few years ago, Allison could not have gotten this treatment. It is possible to hope that some day medical marijuana treatments will also be covered by insurance, and that people like Amy will be free to even grow their own plants.


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