LITHIA, Fla. - A Lithia mother that has dedicated her time to helping pass medical cannabis laws will have to end her fight in Florida, as she will be relocating to Virginia with high hopes of finding better healthcare for her son.
Renee Petro has been caring for her 15-year-old son Branden since he was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy called F.I.R.E.S.
"In the blink of an eye, my healthy child was taken away from me," said Petro.
One diagnosis of the disease is frequent seizures, sometimes up to 100 a day.
After fighting to help pass legislation for medical cannabis in Florida, Petro says access for patients is limited.
Trulieve Medical Marijuana Treatment Center has worked endlessly to find the best strain of THC for Branden, but they need more access to research.
"We have to understand how much, when, how little, how will it interact with other medication," said Petro.
Petro said there are too many restrictions to medical cannabis in Florida and there is not consistent access to products or how a patient can access it.
Because of this, Petro is stopping cannabis treatment and she will be taking Branden to an in patient care facility in Virginia that will give him medical and behavioral treatment.
Petro says cannabis is doing wonderful for some patients, but it isn't for everyone until it can be researched for the correct forms for patients.
Branden has worked with pediatric neurologist and epilepsy specialist Eric Vernier at Capernaum Medical Center in Lakeland for the best treatment options.