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Zuhayr Adia

Zuhayr Adia Doctor & cannabis patient

Dr Adia was first diagnosed with an inoperable nerve tumour in his right shoulder in 2016, while at medical school. He suffered from severe musculoskeletal pain, neuropathic pain, numbness and spasms, as well as depression and insomnia as a result of this. He was prescribed a variety of drugs including strong painkillers and sleeping medications. These factors combined to result in severe disability. Upon discovering medical cannabis, the severity of his pain and disability reduced significantly. He was able to reduce the dosages and come off some of the other medications that caused a variety of unwanted side effects. After experiencing the medical benefit of cannabis, and the difficulties of obtaining it as a patient in the UK, Dr Adia has devoted his medical career to ensuring that all patients who may benefit from this medicine may receive it.

Dom Burns

Dom Burns Medical cannabis patient and advocate

Tech-loving, vegan grandad Dom Burns has been a medical cannabis patient since September 2019. He began using the treatment for persistent, chronic back pain stemming from compression to his L5-S1 disc. Prior to using medical cannabis, Dom was prescribed opiate based painkillers, nerve signal dampeners and antispasmodics. Dom advocates for medical cannabis to make the path easier to navigate for others. He is part of the Project Twenty21 project and would like to see medical cannabis a front line medicine available on the NHS.

John Ellis

John Ellis Medical cannabis patient and advocate

John Ellis became involved with medical cannabis when a friend became ill with cancer. He went on to petition government on behalf of patients from all walks of life. In 2012 John became ill with Progressive Mylopathy of uncertain cause. He now uses both pharmaceutical and cannabis-based treatments to manage his illness, but costs of medical cannabis treatment prevent him from feeling as well as he could with NHS access. John feels it is vital that cannabis-based medications should be available on the NHS in order to allow patients who are unable to fund medical cannabis privately to have this option. John would like to see cannabis become mainstream medicine.

Sue Evans

Sue Evans Medical cannabis patient and advocate

Author Sue Evans from York lives with secondary breast cancer (hormone receptor positive) which has metamorphosed in her pelvis. Currently taking endocrine treatment to manage her cancer, Sue is unable to take conventional painkillers due to complications caused by a previous liver condition. Sue uses medical cannabis oil with THC and CBD to control her pain. A highly effective and safe treatment, she has experienced no adverse side effects. Sue credits medical cannabis to allowing her to live an active life – without it, she is able to walk only very short distances with a limp.

Matt Hughes

Matt Hughes Patient Advocate & father of a medical cannabis patient

Matt has been campaigning for access to cannabis since the beginning of 2019 when he and his wife joined Hannah Deacon and many other families of End Our Pain. Matt's son Charlie has a rare and severe form of epilepsy and since using cannabis, Charlie has seen an 85% reduction in seizures and a much improved quality of life. During this time and leading to now, Matt has been involved working with the other parents battling through each block to prescribing. Not just the NHS, but via the private sector too. Also researching and better understanding cannabis, Matt has an in- depth knowledge about laws, regulations, and access to this treatment.

Lucy Stafford

Lucy Stafford Patient Advocate, Patient & PLEA Director

Having spent her teenage years in severe pain, dependent on opiates and a feeding tube, discovering medical cannabis has transformed Lucy’s health and quality of life. Prescribed medical cannabis has allowed Lucy to regain her mobility, study an undergraduate degree and live a quality of life that she never imagined possible with her underlying health conditions. Lucy is a Director at Patient Led Engagement for Access (PLEA), advocating for patients to have access to cannabis based medicines free from stigmatisation, misinformation and financial barriers.

Lara Smith

Lara Smith Medical cannabis patient and advocate

Lara is a former paediatric staff nurse and previously fenced competitively at an elite level and for GB in her youth. Her mobility and pain management is critical in enabling her to live life as normal as possible, as mum to three teenagers. She has cervical and lumbar spondylosis with symptoms of myelopathy. She underwent major surgery in 2015 and had spinal decompression and a two level disc replacement in her neck. Unfortunately, she continues to experience Lhermitte’s sign, (severe electric shocks into her limbs), upon neck movement. Lara was previously prescribed high dose opiates and other adjunctive medications, which gave her significant adverse side effects. In 2014 she was prescribed medical cannabis. It was far more effective in alleviating her neuropathic pain, so much so that she was able to come off all other medications. Lara gave evidence, as a case study, to the APPG for Drug Policy Reform, as part of their enquiry into medical cannabis and was also asked to speak at the launch of their report in 2016. She has campaigned since 2014 for all patients to be given better access to medical cannabis and has been interviewed on Victoria Derbyshire, The One Show, Radio 5 Live, Radio 4 on the Today programme, as well as interviews for the Times and Telegraph.

Vera Twomey

Vera Twomey Author, campaigner & mother of a medical cannabis patient

Vera’s campaign to secure medical cannabis for her daughter, Ava, who lives with Dravet Syndrome eventually culminated in her decision to walk from Cork to Dublin in protest to ask health minister Simon Harris for help in person. Vera has spent years campaigning for the introduction of medicinal cannabis to Ireland to help those with illnesses it can help to alleviate. Her campaign for her daughter’s medication received great media attention and garnered support across the country and beyond. She lives in Cork with her family.

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We’re supporting Medical Cannabis Awareness Week 2020
October 14, 2020

We’re supporting Medical Cannabis Awareness Week 2020

During Medical Cannabis Awareness Week 2020, 1 - 8 November, we are supporting PLEA's call for patients, doctors, colleagues from across the sector, friends and supporters to fight for fair…

John’s story: medical cannabis & Progressive Mylopathy
October 7, 2020

John’s story: medical cannabis & Progressive Mylopathy

John Ellis lives with Progressive Mylopathy of uncertain cause. Here, he tells his story. A decade of declining health In early 2002 whilst working as a broadband technician, I began to…

Sue’s story: Alleviating chronic pain from secondary bone metastases cancer
October 7, 2020

Sue’s story: Alleviating chronic pain from secondary bone metastases cancer

Sue Evans from York uses medical cannabis treatment to alleviate chronic pain caused by cancer.  Here, she tells her story. In December 2015 I was diagnosed with breast cancer in…

Could you help educate the UK’s medical cannabis doctors? We’re seeking an Information & Library Studies Research Student (Masters)
July 23, 2020

Could you help educate the UK’s medical cannabis doctors? We’re seeking an Information & Library Studies Research Student (Masters)

The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society is a physician and expert-led nonprofit society dedicated to the education of clinicians on the topic of medical cannabis and therapeutic cannabinoids dedicated to supporting…