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    This is my friend Jack.  Jack’s a pretty remarkable guy.  Jack has MS.  I’ve interviewed a number of people with MS, but none quite as remarkable as Jack.

The first time I met Jack was in 2006 while traveling across the country with Journey for Justice 7.  My good friend and Denver Caregiver Diana McKindley agreed to introduce me to some of her patients.  Jack was number one on the list.

Jack is slowly making his way back from Chronic MS

    At the time of my interview, Jack was still having difficulty talking.  So for the interview, Diana agreed to read a short speech to me that Jack had prepared.
    We take for granted the choreography of muscles required to sustain speech.  Jack has to concentrate and apply great effort to do what comes naturally for us, even when all he is trying to do is say a few words.

    In 1994, Jack was diagnosed with Chronic MS.  This progressive form of Multiple Sclerosis is the similar to what claimed the life of comedian Richard Pryor.
    In November of 1994, he woke up and tried to stand.  He fell and never walked again.  Two months later, he lost his speech.  He moved from Breckinridge, CO to Denver to live with his Mother.
    Growing weaker, his older sister told his Mother to put him in a nursing home.  He was in a nursing home three more times.  His mother asked him to make her his legal guardian. 
    Now bedfast, people would speak in front of him as if he was already dead.  This is a common complaint from MS patients, according to Diana, Jack’s caregiver.  “They may appear to be in a coma state, but in fact they’re wide awake.  But they’re treated like they’re dead.”

    Jack was moved in with a black man with cerebral palsy.  Every day, the man would come over to Jack and tuck a Cannabis bud down between Jack’s teeth and gum, to sooth Jack’s discomfort.  Jack told me that he would suck on it all day.  It helped him get through the discomfort he was experiencing.
    He was given a G tube and was put on a liquid diet with a pump.  His health was at its lowest.  He weighed 85 lb.   He couldn’t move at all.  He was on a drink liquid diet only.  He started praying to God.  He said, “It made me feel better. ”

    Six month later, Jack’s Gall Bladder was removed.  Following surgery, the nurse was talking to him as if he could respond.  His nurse leaned over him, looking into his eyes, and asked him if he would like a drink of water.  He thought that would be good, so with all his strength, he winked at her.  She screamed with joy.  The nurses and doctors surrounded him. 
    He had no movement for two and a half years.

    In November of 1998, Jack was healthy enough to have his G tube removed.  By  December, he was able to eat soft foods.  He was now up to 100 pounds.  He Started speaking, one word at a time at first, and began moving his left arm, left foot and toes.
    In Jan. of 1999, Jack applied for section 8 housing, by July they had found him a place. 

    At the time of my interview, Jack was living by himself.  He’s witnessed many miracles.  He now speaks sentences.  He feeds himself.  Brushes his teeth, holds his own glass.
    He gets three visits a day seven days a week from his health agency since he was still not able to cook, clean or bathe.  But he’s proud of what he can do. 

    The pain Jack suffers now is in his neck.  It is not related to his MS.  He has a narrowing of his spinal cord.  The doctors told him that he would have a 50-50 chance of correcting it with surgery.  He’s on a lot of pain pills – 100 Percocets per month, 40 Dilantins per month, and a Morphine patch ever three days.
    Using Cannabis allows him to cut his pharmaceutical use in half.  With Diana’s help, Jack was in the process of setting up his own Cannabis garden.  He wants to grow his own medicine to save money.  He’s hoping to eventually be a legal caregiver as well and help others who are chronically ill.

        To view more of our Medical Cannabis Testimonies, please visit www.youtube.com/cannabispatientnet/ .  We need your Testimony.  Please contact me today about scheduling your interview.  Help us change law through your personal story.

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