Four-year-old Landon Riddle couldn't tolerate his chemotherapy, according to his mother, so Sierra Riddle looked for an alternative treatment and discovered cannabis oil. Sierra, a single mother, was told that Landon had less than a 10 percent chance of living more than one or two days on September 30, 2o12. He immediately began chemotherapy treatment. Riddle told CNN that Landon was given a four-year treatment plan by his doctors.
Landon's initial chemotherapy treatments for T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia were considered successful. Landon's chemotherapy wasn't over, though; Landon's doctors said he would still need chemotherapy treatments to destroy any remaining cells. The Cannabist featured a story about Landon and pointed out why chemotherapy was still considered important for Landon by his oncologists even though he appeared to be in remission. The American Cancer Society's statement details Landon's situation best, the author explained.
"When leukemia is diagnosed, there are usually about 100 billion leukemia cells in the body. Killing 99.9% of these leukemia cells during the 1-month induction treatment is enough to achieve a remission, but it still leaves about 100 million leukemia cells in the body. These also must be destroyed. An intensive 1- to 2-month program of consolidation treatment and about 2 years of maintenance chemotherapy helps destroy the remaining cancer cells."The maintenance chemotherapy was extremely rough on Landon, his mother said. After nine months, Landon's mother and doctors noticed he was actually getting worse.
"Landon was in a small percent that do that bad with chemotherapy. … (The doctors) were not taking Landon into consideration. It even got to the point that they wanted to increase one of his medications, solely so they could see the toxic side effects for themselves," Sierra told The Cannabist. That's when Sierra, who was opposed to marijuana use, was willing to consider giving her son cannabis oil to make sure his Leukemia stayed in remission.
"Unfortunately, he got sicker and sicker and sicker," Wendy, Landon's grandmother, said as quoted by The Cannabist. "He went for six weeks without eating. I mean, we were getting to the point where he was dying. You know at that point you really becoming willing to look at anything."
Riddle told CNN that she found the Stanley brothers in Colorado. They offered a cross-bred cannabis plant that had less THC and more cannabidiol (CBD). CBD, according to CNN, is believed to have "analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activity without the psychoactive effect."
"As soon as we started doing the oil, his platelets have been above normal for a cancer patient. They've been at a regular healthy person's level and they can't understand why," Landon's mother told CNN over a year ago. According to CNN, this effect is the what most intrigues cancer researchers about cannabis.
In Colorado, it was legal for children to use cannabis oil for medical reasons like leukemia, so she took up residency there, she said. In July of last year, Sierra stopped giving Landon chemotherapy treatments for his leukemia, according to Stoner Days. The doctors didn't care that Landon was being given cannabis to keep his cancer in remission, Sierra explained. The choice to stop the chemotherapy treatment was another story, according to Sierra.
"At the time, I thought the same as everyone else," Sierra said. "They can't force me to do something I don't want to. When I told (the doctors) that I took him off of that and we were just doing natural treatments, CPS was at my house."
"You have to understand that parents have rights with regard to their children, but that children also have rights," F. Scott McCown told the Colorado Springs Gazette. "Children aren't property of parents -- parents can't do as they wish with regard to a child. And so at some point, the state has to intervene."
So, last year in October, CBS Denver reported that Landon returned to chemotherapy. Without it, Sierra said, CPS was prepared to take legal action against her on behalf of Landon.
"They are not only forcing me to do something against my will as a parent, they are forcing me to make my child sick," Riddle told CBS 4 News at the time.
Not long after that, according to The Cannabist, they were able to try a new strategy which involved much less medical intervention.
In June this year, the Facebook page Offer Hope For Landon made an announcement that both shocked and excited many social media followers.
"Well, today is the day!!! The doctors have finally figured out that we are not giving Landon the daily chemo pills, and have not done so for 13 months. Landon has been treated for his Leukemia using cannabis oil and other organic treatments. Landon has been in remission for 19 months, 13 of those months, without daily chemo!""(Landon's doctors) know I haven't been giving him the at-home chemo, which is 98 percent of the treatment plan, and so the other 2 percent was just the IV chemo every thirty days," Sierra told The Cannabist for the article featured last month. "They told CPS Landon would be dead in less than three (months) without those medicines."
"So, obviously they lied," she said. "That's the most obvious thing."
After what Riddle says was a considerable two-year battle with leukemia and leukemia treatment, they will be meeting with his oncology team on Tuesday to discuss his most recent tests that looked for leukemia cells. If the meeting goes as Riddle hopes, Landon's chemotherapy port will be taken out of his chest and he will be free to use only cannabis for the remainder of his leukemia remission management phase.
[Photo derived from public photos on Offer Hope for Landon]