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Cape Coral family benefits from Amendement 2 passing

Posted at 6:42 PM, Nov 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-10 06:34:17-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla.-- Medical marijuana passed in Florida on Election night with 71% of voters voting in favor of Amendment 2. The Amendment expands medical marijuana use for people with certain chronic diseases. 

For one Cape Coral family, that means helping their 9-year-old son who has Mitochondrial disease.

The Lawrey family said the passing of Amendment 2 is a relief, after years of countless doctors, prescription medicines and pain.  

"The first thing I did was look at him and was like do you know what this means, and my phone blew up, I got text messages and Facebook messages," said Brandi Lawrey. 

9-year-old Gavin started having seizures when he was 18 months old. But it wasn't until he was 5-years-old that he was diagnosed with Mitochondrial disease. 

"The nucleus of his cells in his entire body have a problem," said Dr. Paul Arnold. 

Dr. Arnold is an Osteopathic physician and the first Dr. to suggest medical marijuana for Gavin.

"We know this isn't a miracle, we know this isn't going to cure him," said Lawrey.

Lawrey said before starting this medical journey with her son she probably would have voted no to Amendment 2, but after watching her son doubled down in pain and now with an oxygen tube, she believed this was an option worth exploring. 

"He has a lot of memory issues, with early onset Alzheimer's and Dementia and he has a lot of digestive issues," said Lawrey. 

Lawrey said she's spent hours researching medical marijuana, contacting other families in similar situations and talking to doctors about this possibility. She said the process to get approved by the state is lengthy, taking up to 90 days. But she's excited that this is now an option for others in the state who need this to survive. 

Although there's now a whole new set of obstacles the family faces, such as accessibility and high costs, Lawrey believes their family is one step closer to a whole new Gavin. 

"I don't just feel like it's an option, I feel like it's a real value and I truly believe it's going to give him a better quality of life," said Lawrey. 

Gavin's parents aren't the only ones working to help their son. His 12-year-old sister is also wanting to make a difference in Gavin's life by starting her own fundraiser.