Valley mother mourns loss of son, pushes for expanded use of medicinal marijuana
A Valley mother mourning the loss of her son is pushing for the expanded use of medicinal marijuana for those experiencing seizures, autism, and other medical conditions.
Mayra Rivera says the Christmas presents in her home meant for her 17-year-old son Rosendo Robles lay unopened. He died days before the holiday.
Rivera says her son had a condition that could never be diagnosed that caused him to struggle since he was four months old. His mother, who hurt seeing her son constantly experience seizures, went on to advocate for the use of medical marijuana for her son.
"I tried everything to help my son, and I mean, I would have gone to the end of the Earth for him," Rivera said.
In 2019, the state's Compassionate Use Program, which allows qualifying patients access to THC, expanded to a wider variety, including people like Rivera's son.
But in a tragic turn of events, and even after beating COVID-19, the teen died due to an artery burst.
Overwhelmed with grief, Rivera says she wonders if the THC treatment had been approved sooner, maybe the side effects from other medications wouldn't have affected her son's body so harshly.
"I think to myself, you know, maybe if we had just maybe tried this back then, maybe he wouldn't have gotten so much pneumonia that caused lung damage, which ended up causing his death," she said.
As she mourns the loss of her son, Rivera says she'll continue to advocate for medical marijuana for the people who need it.
"His suffering was not in vain," Rivera said. "And after all of this and when I'm ready, I'll continue fighting alongside my fellow special need mama friends across the state because this doesn't end here."
There's also a supportive group on Facebook.