Parents Move To Colorado For ‘Miracle’ Pot For Children: For USA Today

I was recently assigned by USA Today to photograph and film two seemingly different families.

Their common bond was a strain of medical marijuana named ‘Charlotte’s Web’ and in each household a loving daughter with severe epilepsy.

 

THE BOTKER FAMILY

Greta Botker has been through more adversity in her short life than most adults. At the age of 7, she’s sampled a host of medications for her epilepsy: Onfi, Depakote, Felbatol, Keppra and Prednisone.

She’s been on strict diets.

She’s had brain surgery.

Nothing reduced the 15 or so seizures she had every day since she was 5 months old that kept her from walking steadily, feeding herself or talking. Her parents, Maria and Mark, had run out of options.

 

We put our child through brain surgery, so a plant like marijuana was not going to scare me.” — Maria Botker, mother of Greta, 7.

 

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Mark and Maria Botker drop their daughter, Greta, off at school near their new Colorado home Thursday Feb. 6, 2014. The Botker’s daughter is diagnosed with a severe form of epilepsy and is prescribed cannabis oil extracted from a genetically modified strain of marijuana called Charlotte’s Web. The strain is modified to produce a low yield THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – the psychoactive element in cannabis – and a high yield CBD (Cannabidiol) that provides Greta the anti-inflammatory and anti-epileptic properties which her parents point to her improved quality of life and reduced seizure count.

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Greta Botker, 7, plays with her father.

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Maria Botker prepares daughter Greta, 7, for dinner.

 

THE BURRIESCI FAMILY:

Grace is a friendly toddler with a sweet smile and curly black hair. Like Greta, she was born healthy. She began having seizures when she was a year old, her father says — as many as 300 a day.

 

This condition ultimately meant death for our kid, so we were going to war for her. Families are desperate.” – Biagio Burriesci, father of Grace, 2.

 

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Grace Burriesci, 2, plays in her family’s new Colorado home.

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Anna Burriesci and her 2-year-old daughter, Grace.

 

READ MORE:

Parents move to Colorado for ‘miracle’ pot for children BY Marisol Bello

 

 

Cheers,

Nathan W. Armes
Editorial and Commercial Photographer
Denver, Colorado
+1.303.478.8484


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