A Rare Disease Turned This 13-Year-Old into a Cannabis Advocate for Pediatric Patients
Rylie Maedler, 13, suffers from a rare condition — an aggressive form of giant cell granuloma, which causes seizures and makes painful tumors grow on her jaw. She’s struggled with that condition for half her life, but things have gotten much easier over the last five years thanks to medical marijuana.
Rylie was diagnosed with granuloma years ago after she saw something strange in the mirror.
“In second grade, my face started to grow and it was getting bigger, and my mom decided to take me to the hospital,” Rylie told InsideEdition. “I was just so uncomfortable. Seeing my face in the mirror made me really sad.”
After years of trying to manage Rylie’s condition with conventional treatments, her mother Janie turned to cannabis, which wasn’t easy because she was worried about potential side effects. But medical marijuana worked better than she could have hoped. Rylie’s seizures stopped, her tumors shrank and there’s no sign of them growing back. Even her emerging teeth, which doctor’s told her were likely to fall out, are strong and healthy now.
“Cannabis oil made me feel so much better,” said Rylie.
Now, Rylie is fighting to help other young children get access to potentially life-saving benefits of medical marijuana. She has already helped push three laws through the Delaware legislature that have significantly improved child access to the medication.
“It was illegal when my mom gave me cannabis,” Rylie said. “It made me feel so much better and I didn’t understand why other kids couldn’t have it, so I wanted to help those kids.”
She has also started a non-profit company that helps families of sick kids get access to medical marijuana while reducing financial strain.
“I want to give them medicine that is good quality and also affordable,” Rylie said.