Girl with epilepsy showing progress after starting medical marijuana treatments

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EAST SCHODACK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Patients in New York have had access to medical marijuana for about three months, and for the first time, NEWS10 ABC is seeing one young girl’s progress.

Haley Hilt has been battling a rare form of epilepsy since she was born. Her mom, Melissa Hilt, said Haley’s seizures have decreased since she started taking medical marijuana in oil form.

“She rode a tricycle at school for the first time,” Melissa said.

It was a moment so precious, that Melissa had to save it on her phone. It was something Melissa never thought was possible because of Haley’s seizures.

“She is awake, she’s alert and she’s playful,” she said.

Haley is getting stronger, and she is able to stand up with some help. She also plays with her siblings. Melissa said the changes are because of medical marijuana.

“We’ve met her is the best way I can describe it,” Melissa said.

Melissa spent a long time fighting to make medical marijuana legal in New York State, but now that it’s available, the battle hasn’t stopped.

“It’s pretty sad,” she said. “People are having to choose between their child’s health and putting food on the table.”

Melissa spends about $365 a month on the marijuana supply.

“We are very fortunate,” she said. “So much support from family and church.”

Hillary Peckham is the COO of Etain, LLC., which operates a medical marijuana dispensary in Albany.

“The price is high because there isn’t the demand,” Peckham said.

However, companies are hoping the patient numbers grow. Currently, about 2,000 patients are registered statewide and only half of those have actually purchased the medicine.

“I think down the road as there are more patients, all the prices are going to go down,” Peckham said.

Melissa said the benefits are evident through her daughter’s progress. In April, she’ll be in Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers to talk about decriminalizing marijuana and getting insurance companies to start paying for it.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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