Cannabis & Hemp Brain
May 05, 2011
Shortly before his second birthday, Cash Hyde was diagnosed with a serious brain tumour.
For six weeks Cash was regularly misdiagnosed with glandular fever, but looking at his ill son, his father Mike Hyde knew it was worse.
"It feels like he's dying in my arms," said Mr Hyde. "We need to take him somewhere else."
Doctors did a CAT scan and found a 4.5cm tumour wrapped around Cash's optic nerve.
They were able to remove just ten per cent of the growth in surgery and the toddler had to undergo severe chemotherapy to reduce the rest of it.
Cash's terrified parents, Mike and Kalli from Missoula, Montana, were repeatedly told their son would probably die.
The treatment had drastic side effects on Cash, including seizures and a blood infection, and left him so weak he could not lift his head.
Mr Hyde said his son had no will to eat for months, and was too sick to eat solid foods for 40 days.
As he watched his son dying before his eyes, the desperate father decided to look for another solution - medical marijuana.
Cash's doctors refused to even discuss the option with Mr Hyde, so he got authorisation from somewhere else.
Asking the doctors to wean Cash off the strong anti-nausea drugs, Mr Hyde secretly administered small doses of cannabis oil through his son's feeding tube.
The effect was almost instant.
"He hadn't eaten a thing in 40 days - and, it was really incredible to watch him take a bite of a piece of cheese. It shows that he wants to live."
Cash went through his last bout of chemotherapy with no anti-nausea medication.
Mr Hyde said the doctors were amazed.
"I wanted to tell them 'hey, he's on cannabis oil' but I was afraid they'd take it away from him."
Cash is now back home and cancer free, playing with his older brother Colty.
Medical marijuana is legal in some US states including Montana, but its use for children is extremely rare.
The US federal government and states regularly clash over differing laws regarding the medical use of the drug.
Mr Hyde told local TV news station KXLY "It's very controversial, it's very scary. But, there's nothing more scary than losing your child."