At eight months old, Sadie Higuera was supposed to be dead.
The Ramona, Calif.-area toddler suffers from Schinzel-Giedion syndrome, a very rare and very severe condition caused by a genetic mutation that causes neurological problems, as well as organ and bone abnormalities.
The disease meant kidney issues, a hole in her heart and up to 300 seizures a day. Treatments weren’t working, every medical emergency could have been her last and every drug her family tried had terrible side effects—leading doctors to suggest an experimental and radical drug, a “hero pill” that, her parents say, would have ended her life within a month.
That was in 2014.
This spring, she started attending a special-needs preschool—and now, she’s recovered enough that her parents believe it’s time for her to meet President-elect Donald Trump, in order to tell him what saved her life—hemp oil.
San Diego-area News 10 has been covering Sadie Higuera’s story for a few years now, ever since her father, Brian, decided to try CBD oil on a near-whim as a last resort.
Within “10 minutes” of delivering his daughter—via a feeding tube in her stomach—a dose of “Real Scientific Hemp Oil,” a CBD-rich hemp oil made by Medical Marijuana, Inc., her seizures reduced in frequency. The oil has also reduced in size a tumor in her lungs and improved scoliosis in her spine, her parents told KUSI.
“Basically, medical cannabis gave her a second chance at life,” Brian Higuera told the San Diego Union-Tribune last spring. “It made her come alive.”
The Higueras are now, predictably, avowed marijuana advocates and are regulars at cannabis conferences. But now that Sadie is three-and-a-half and still alive, they want to spread the message beyond the cannabis echo chamber.
“We were thinking, ‘What would Sadie really want?’” Brian Higuera told News 10. “She would want to give back.”
In this case, “giving back” means going straight to the White House and winning an audience with Donald Trump.
The Higueras contacted the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the national nonprofit that fulfills the grandiose dreams of kids with life-threatening illnesses. But rather than take a trip out of the country or transform their town into Gotham City, all the Higueras want is a few minutes of the president-elect’s time.
The Higueras believe that telling Trump what saved their daughter may be enough to convince the incoming president to remove medical marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, they told ABC 10.
“Our daughter Sadie is an American champion Donald Trump would be proud of,” the Higueras wrote in their appeal to Make-a-Wish, according to reports. “It is our wish to meet him to demonstrate Sadie’s fighting spirit and make this a movement of awareness; understanding and legitimizing CBDs as an organic, healthy treatment which has helped so many people beat the odds and live a life they could not have had otherwise.”
Trump’s plans for the country’s nascent cannabis industry are far from clear.
On the campaign trail, Trump indicated support for medical marijuana and said next-to-nothing about the states legalizing recreational cannabis. Since his election, cabinet picks like attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, an avowed supporter of the drug war, have led cannabis advocates to fear the worst.
Could an unlikely survivor in Sadie Higuera turn the tide? Will an audience with Trump change attitudes across the country? It couldn’t hurt.
You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.