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Erin Halverson Matthews was a woman in need. She didn’t need a new pair of shoes. She didn’t need a mani/pedi. She didn’t need a new blouse or a new dress. Erin needed a wheelchair ramp. Erin suffers from Multiple Sclerosis or MS, an “unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body,” according to the National MS Society.
Erin is also a cannabis patient. She utilizes cannabis to help alleviate the severe symptoms from MS, as well as Bipolar Disorder, chronic pain, depression and anxiety. Her husband uses cannabis to treat his seizure disorder. They reside in the the small city of Washington Terrace in northern Utah which does not legally allow her to treat her severely debilitating disease with any type of cannabis extract, not even the “Hemp Extract” (CBD Only oil) recently approved by the Utah Legislature.
This law, Utah House Bill 105, was written specifically for one disease/condition – epilepsy. Even if they could afford the $400.00 “registration fee” for a “Hemp Extract,” just to be placed on a waiting list with one specific provider, the Realm of Caring, located next door, in Colorado, for one specific strain of Low THC/HIGH CBD cannabis, Charlotte’s Web (referred to as a “Hemp Strain” on the Stanley Brother’s site), it would still be insufficient treatment for cannabis patients such as Erin and her husband. They, unfortunately, will not be granted a “Golden Ticket” to allow for medicinal cannabis at this point, according to current Utah law.
The card and fee do not guarantee the oil nor do they allow for legal transport across state lines, essentially maintaining the felonious status of any person bringing cannabis to Utah.
Erin contacted several celebrities who have also been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis or advocate for treatment for loved ones, such as Jack Osbourne, Ann Romney , Oprah Winfrey, and retail home improvement stores and other outlets including House and Garden Television – HGTV , in addition to the cannabis community.
Erin had an absolutely STUNNING response when Lowe’s Hardware Stores volunteered to BUILD a WHEELCHAIR RAMP for her!
So I was diagnosed with MS back in 2002. 6 months after we bought the house we live in now, less than 300 days later my ex husband left me. I have stayed kinda mobil (sic) since then except for that I can’t walk, drive, or get around easily anymore.. I have been using a manual wheelchair for the last few years. My most recent neurology appointment brought an effort to get me one of those electric ones…it was approved fairly quickly leaving me a 60 day guesstimate on when it would arrive. I started to quietly panic on how I would ever get it in or out of my house. My husband started a fundraising page and I received a lot of support and donations through it.
I had mentioned on the Erin fund page my desire to attract some sort of corporate donation. So I contacted some celebrities who suffer from MS and also sent an email to the Lowe’s store located down the street. I did not expect it especially this fast,but yesterday they contacted me and offered to build me a wheelchair ramp for free.
This is a huge weight off of my shoulders. I really want to send out a kudos/thanks/wow to the Riverdale Lowe’s store!
This made me feel in part that this store (2 miles away) really was my “neighbor” I will continue to buy any home improvement anything there.
THANK YOU LOWE’S!!!!!
I will talk David into updating the Eriun (sic) page today….this is GREAT news and I couldn’t be happier….when the work starts I will include pictures of our progress.
Tomorrow will be brighter the next day even better…one day at a time…
God Bless any who supported us or shared the page Thank You Thank You Thank You
It is a shame that Erin can not legally obtain the medicinal benefits of cannabis for her Multiple Sclerosis – however, the fact that she continues to be a positive, uplifting spirit, not allowing her debilitating diagnosis to be the end of her. She is a true inspiration, as a MS and CANNABIS patient.
Erin had some very profound thoughts concerning cannabis such as: “So many legal poisons but the government knows how to make money off of the suffering pretty easily, so there is little incentive to do the right thing,” and “There is so much research yet to be done, but I think if I could trade half of my pills for bud, I would be healthier”
Thank you – truly – for every member of the cannabis community who can come forward, as well as such big support from organizations such as Lowes, with so much as a kind word for Erin, a $5 donation or some time. Anything helps and it is a pleasure to be a part of the Utah cannabis community, as limited as it currently is.
The need for whole plant reform is obvious in this case, and advocate groups such as Utah Care , Utah Mommies for Cannabis , the Utah Cannabis Coalition and the Salt Lake City/Utah Chapter of the International Women’s Cannabis Coalition .
Further information, including details about how to make donations, can be accessed via this link.
Many Blessings and to LOVE to Erin, her family, friends, caregivers and cannabis advocates – so proud to see how our Canna Community can come together and work with corporate sponsors to better a fellow persons’ life.
For more articles on Ladybud about multiple sclerosis and medical cannabis, click here!
Photo Credit: Erin Halverson Matthews