Vanishing White Matter Disease: Jayda’s Story

Vancouver’s Cannabis Life Conference just wrapped up last weekend at the Westin Bayshore, and it was a packed weekend full of education, networking, and inspiring speeches, but one chance encounter in particular stood out- meeting Jayda.

As conference host Craig Ex, of Expert Joints, said, “Cannabis works in strange ways sometimes”, and that’s never been more true or serendipitous. While having a quick joint break outside, Craig heard about a little girl selling lemonade to raise money for an extremely rare neurological condition she had called Vanishing White Matter Disease– it’s so rare that there are only around 200 documented cases worldwide (mostly children), and even worse, it’s terminal and progressive.

That means there’s no cure and her life expectancy at this point is another 2-10 years.

When Craig went over to the lemonade stand to meet Jayda and her mom, he learned that Jayda’s brother, a medicinal user himself, had recommended they check out the Cannabis Life Conference to explore cannabis as an option to help Jayda fight the disease, which was triggered by head trauma she sustained during a collision with another student during PE class. The collision knocked her unconscious, and it wasn’t until she began having grand mal seizures did the school decide to call 9-11- which was over 20 minutes after the collision occurred.

After coming to, it was a long journey just to get back to where she is now- Jayda even had to relearn how to walk and talk- but she truly is an exceptional kid. Before being diagnosed with Vanishing White Matter Disease, she had sold lemonade to raise money to fit wolves with radio collars, and she’s also a student at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music.

One of her biggest dreams is to meet Ellen Degeneres, and if you, dear reader, help share this story and tweet Ellen at @TheEllenShow, we might be able to make that dream come true!

After hearing her story, Craig decided to invite Jayda and her mom to come up on the Cannabis Life Conference stage to raise a little awareness and hopefully, money.

What happened next was amazing. This was a chance for the cannabis community to come together for someone who desperately needed their help, and they did not disappoint. In the 10 minutes that Jayda and her mom were speaking, a donation cup was circulated among the audience and when it came back, it was filled with $1600!

Then, Mara Gordon, from Aunt Zelda’s, offered Jayda a free consultation to see if medicinal cannabis could work for her and Green Island Naturals offered any of their products that she may need for free.

Even better, Dori Dempster, the executive director of the Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary, matched the $1600 that was donated, as did TopLeaf Canada and Cambridge House International (the conference’s producers), bringing the total raised to $6,400- much better than the $60 or so Jayda had raised selling lemonade outside!

Jayda’s goal is to eventually raise $2.6 million dollars for research, but for her immediate needs and on-going care, she is trying to raise $10,000 on her GoFundMe page.

Anything helps. A dollar. A share. A like. A retweet- it doesn’t matter. Anything that you can do to help raise awareness could help make a difference in this little girl’s life and time is a huge factor because she really doesn’t have that much of it left.

You could even help her dream of meeting Ellen come true by tweeting Ellen at @TheEllenShow .

Let’s give Jayda a chance to get the help she needs and raise awareness of this rare disease because everyone deserves at least a chance, and her positive attitude and enthusiasm for life in the face of what she’s dealing with truly is an inspiration to us all.

You can donate to her GoFundMe page at Help Jada Live Life to the Fullest.

Interested in the Cannabis Life Conference catch both days of 7 plus hours of panels and presentations here.