Two Australian girls may be forced to return to their home country, abandoning cannabis treatment in Canada that their mother said transformed their lives.
Bobby-Jo Fulton’s daughters, eight-year-old Georgia-Grace and 13-year-old Tabetha, suffer from a severe inflammation of lung tissue which makes them unable to absorb oxygen.
Their mother was advised the only option was treatment with steroids and round-the-clock use of oxygen tanks, but the side-effects were were even worse than Tabetha’s condition.
“The steroids were killing her faster than the lung disease itself,” Fulton said. “To watch what Tabetha has gone through and know that we were on exactly the same path with her sister, it’s devastating. As a parent, it’s soul-destroying.”
Researching cannabis-oil treatment, Bobby-Jo started her oldest daughter on a 12-week program of two millilitres of cannabis oil a day in Australia, with almost immediate results.
“Within two weeks, she had a normal heart-rate, which was unheard of,” Fulton said. “By the five-week mark, the school asked me if she wanted to participate in their surfing program. So within six weeks, our daughter had gone from not even being able to play hide and seek, to surfing.”
With cannabis treatment much stricter Australia, Bobby-Jo said she was informed she may lose custody of her children so, in June, the family moved to Canada to continue in Victoria, but are only permitted to stay here for six months.
“To tell her, ‘I’m sorry honey, this is illegal in our country and you have to back to the way you were,’ how do you do that?” said Fulton. “We can’t take our daughters off this now.”
The Fultons hope the results of their daughters’ treatment will allow them to receive special permission from the Australian government to continue cannabis treatment in their home country. If their request is denied, the family plans to stay in Canada.
The family has set up a fundraiser to continue their stay in Canada and help supporters track the girls’ treatment.