SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) -Eighteen-year-old Julia Patterson was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was in kindergarten. She eventually experienced more than 200 seizures a day.
“Each seizure lasted 15 to 30 seconds, so I missed out on a lot, as you can imagine,” said Patterson.
She tried medications, brain surgery, medical implants and a special diet for five years, but nothing worked.
“In February of 2018, I was first prescribed medical marijuana and within just two months I was completely seizure free and I’ve retained seizure control since then,” Patterson told KTSA News. “I graduated valedictorian of my high school class, I was accepted into A&M and the University honors program, and I got my driver’s license, something I never thought would be possible for me.”
Two years ago, following her personal success with medical cannabis, Patterson testified before the House Public Health Committee and Senate Health and Human Services Committee in support of expanding Texas’ Compassionate Use Program (CUP). The Round Top resident was 16-years-old at the time and this year, she’s a registered lobbyist for the KK125 Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. She’s advocating for insurance coverage of fertility preservation for young cancer patients and information sharing for the use of off-label medications.
Patterson says she’s not pushing for recreational use of marijuana.
“My focus is to help patients who are suffering with cancer, chronic pain, etc., to gain access to this life-changing medicine,” Patterson said. “I want others to have the same opportunity and the same hope for a normal life that I was afforded through medical marijuana.”