Joeys Story

  • Print


For those unaware of what Autism is and the nature of this mysterious condition, Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior as symptoms typically arise between the ages of 1 and 3. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize, which continues to remain a mystery to this day. With more than 1 in 110 children being affected by Autism, it has become the fastest rising and growing developmental disability in the United States. Currently, there is no medical detection or a cure for Autism; but pharmaceutical and therapeutic treatments have proven to be effective in improving the condition. Among the safest and most remarkable treatments, but highly controversial, is the use of Medical Cannabis. Though Medical Cannabis is not known to be a cure for Autism, not many children with Autism live independently after reaching adulthood. While there have been some reported cases of children who have recovered, in regard to Medical Cannabis, there is one story where the use of Medical Cannabis has proven to facilitate the life of a young boy and has ushered him into his most progressive developmental period of his life. This courageous story I speak of is of California’s Mieko Hester Perez and her son Joey which has been featured on Good Morning America, Fox Morning News, The Doctors TV Show, CBS Early Show, and has been featured in numerous international publications and interviews.

Joey was diagnosed with Autism at 16 months, but it wasn’t until age 9 when his symptoms really began to intensify. His organs began to experience high levels of toxicity due to the 13 different medications he had been prescribed; he didn’t want to eat, as his weight had dropped to a dangerously low 46 pounds, and was given 6 months to live. It was at this time, when Mieko (Joey’s mother) started to conduct her own investigation, discovering compelling research and information on Medical Cannabis and how it could treat her son’s continual symptoms. Praying for a miracle, Mieko gave her son (who is under doctor’s supervision) cannabis in a brownie the size of a quarter about every 3 days. By 12 months later, Joey had gained over 40 pounds (weighing 98 pounds) and started initiating vocal sounds and reduced aggression. One can only imagine to the empowerment this must have given his mother!

Now at age 12, Joey’s behavior along with his quality of life, is flourishing with new communicative expressions; he is happier, healthier, better behaved and is more productive than ever, down to two prescription medications and one brownie a week. Joey’s story has inspired many and along with that, has been the focus through a foundation created by his mother Mieko, Co-founder Ted Cromwell of the Cromwell Law Firm, and legal counsel with Jeremy Joseph & Associates, called The Unconventional Foundation for Autism. The UF4A is a non-profit resource organization geared towards helping parents make informed decisions about their child’s treatment options; a unique foundation that not only raises awareness and support for families afflicted with this mysterious and misunderstood condition, but also raises funds for needed medical research and clinical trials of Medical Cannabis. Mind you, we’re talking about California here, just one of the 16 states where Medical Cannabis is legal. The UF4A is leading the way in untraditional treatments and therapies not covered by healthcare providers, with a message of leaving no family behind. It’s a strong message to send out to this world. ~