Parents of 7 Year Old Howell Boy with Cancer Ask for One Thing
Even the best doctors say they can no longer help Jake Honig. Now his family is asking you to please write to the governor before it's too late.
This precious child, who the local police and community have dubbed "Jake the Tank", is 7 years old and has put up quite a fight against the brain cancer he was diagnosed with back when he was 2 years old.
When he was first diagnosed, Jake went through 14 chemotherapy treatments and 28 radiation treatments...and was then in remission for over 3 years.
At his 4-year scan this past year, Jake's disease was found to have come back. He went through another brain surgery, 6 chemo treatments, and another 33 radiation treatments.
Then before Thanksgiving, at the first follow-up scan, the family received the news that no parents ever want to hear; that the disease had recurred to the same area of the brain and had also spread to other areas of his brain including a tumor on Jake's cerebellum
Jake, who had already been through so much and handled it like a trooper, started to feel pain on the sides of his stomach, and in a December spine MRI, the doctors said the disease had gone down Jake's spine and that they had found a tumor on his lower back.
Right before Christmas, once even the best oncologists at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia saw the relapse after treatment, they said that there was nothing else they could do.
Jake's parents, Mike and Janet, and Jake's younger sister, Gianna (6 years old), took him back home to try and keep him comfortable. Since then they have been trying to make the very best memories they can with their precious Jake, all while doing whatever they can to keep him here as long as possible and as comfortable as possible.
Jake is receiving hospice care at home while Mike and Janet are treating his symptoms. They just want to make their little boy's life as pain-free as possible in the time that he has left. Wouldn't you? This child has been through more than any mortal should suffer in a lifetime.
Although Jake was sent home on six drugs, including those for anti-nausea and acid reflux, and although he can (and is) being given oxycodone and morphine when the pain gets severe, his parents have found that medical marijuana has become their best option for Jake.
The cannabis doesn't have as harsh side effects as those caused by the stronger drugs. In fact, the medical marijuana has the least side effects and keeps Jake the most comfortable, helps his appetite, and some anecdotal information even shows that it might possibly slow the tumor growth, which would give this family more hope for time with their precious little boy.
Because of the use of cannabis oil, the parents have been able to eliminate 6 of the pharmaceuticals that Jake was taking 3 times a day. All of those drugs were really taking a toll on Jake, whereas the medical marijuana has been the best way to keep Jake's symptoms under control without having to force pills down his throat that aren't as effective.
Mike wants to make it clear that he is not against pharmaceuticals. They use the morphine and oxycodone when needed. But what parent wouldn't do for his child anything that would best keep him from suffering?
Here's where your help is needed. Even more important than your money (the Howell police are huge fans of Jake and have held some great fundraisers), Jake's dad is asking that you please spread the word that the governor needs to be contacted on behalf of not just Jake, but everyone who is in need of medical marijuana.
You see, since our state is so restrictive, the Honig's are only allowed 2 oz. a month of the flower...and then they have to extract the oil from it themselves, which is only enough for 10 days. It costs $1,350 and then they have to experiment with cooking it in their own kitchen and trying to get the proper strain and dose. Which means that for the rest of the time Jake has to take much stronger drugs, deal with horrendous rashes that leave him bleeding due to the side effects, and be so out of it that he sometimes hallucinates.
What kind of quality of life is that for a kid that may have only a precious limited time left here on earth? I know that as a mom of two boys, I would move heaven and earth to put my child at ease, and I would take his pain as my own if it would mean not having to watch him suffer. So we all need to make sure the governor sees what is happening here and make it easier for people like the Honig family to get what they need as quickly as possible.
Right now the dispensaries in our state can only sell the flower. That leaves parents having to cook it up and extract the oil in their own kitchen. No one wants to have to go by their own at-home trial and error to help a child when the dispensaries would be able to use proper equipment and do professionally.
So the Honig family is asking you to write to the governor and ask for two things:
1. Please increase the allowable amount of medical marijuana to over 2 oz.per month, since that isn't nearly enough to cover a full 30 days of what a child like Jake needs.
2. Please let the dispensaries produce the oils to sell to these patients so that they don't have to take home a flower and learn how to cook and extract on their own.
Mike Honig would also like to say that, believe it or not, there are still some parents who are ashamed to say that their sick child is taking medical marijuana. They feel stigmatized and judged. I find it hard to believe that medical marijuana is even being put in the same category as cocaine and heroin. These parents aren't out partying and getting stoned, for crying out loud. They aren't turning into drug addicts. They just want to help their child.
And for those who say that marijuana hasn't been proven to help with medical conditions, Mike says he envies them. Because that means they have never had to turn to cannabis to desperately try to keep their child comfortable after watching their little one suffer.
There is no question in Mike's mind. He has seen for himself how much better Jake is able to feel with the cannabis oil. And he wants other parents to have the option of that same relief.
So how is Jake doing now? Well as of today he can't walk, but his parents and his sister are taking such good care of him. They love him so much. Mike says his son has had a rough few days and has been super sleepy but is now starting to eat again.
So please, on Jake's behalf, and for all of the other suffering children out there, Mike is asking you to please flood the governor's inbox. The Honigs don't want you to take out your credit card -- they don't even have an online fundraising page.
Meanwhile...to Jake, Mike, Janet, and Gianna -- may God hold this little boy in the palm of His hand and give precious Jake more time with you -- pain-free with moments of happiness, laughter, and lots of love. And I'm not above asking for a miracle, God, for this beautiful child.
To read a story I wrote last year about this beautiful boy, CLICK HERE.