Tracy Ryan and her husband Josh have been through a lot over the last few years. Their daughter Sophie was diagnosed with an Optic Pathway Glioma brain tumor at only 8 months old. After seeing little progress from standard treatment, the couple heard about the potential benefits of cannabis and within a short amount of time, significant improvements were noticed in Sophie’s condition, attributable to the THC and CBD from the cannabis.
With minimal background in the cannabis industry, the Ryans decided to defy the odds and start SavingSophie.org to build greater awareness within the community about the benefits of cannabis for the treatment of cancer. They started the California-based collective CannaKids to supply 100% organic, solvent-free, honey gold cannabis oil to children and adults who are suffering from cancer and other serious diseases. While much research still need to be done, the results to date are apparent to those like the Ryans that have seen the positive effects of cannabis with their own eyes.
On Wednesday night, MERRY JANE attended CannaKids' and SavingSophie.org's First Annual Comedy Fundraiser and Silent Auction at The Parlor in Los Angeles. The event, titled “Raising Monies with Funnies," was hosted in effort to raise funds to support families with loved ones battling cancer through treatment with cannabis.
The event was a pleasant surprise: the turnout and amount of cannabis industry support was endearing. Brands like W Vapes, The Crystal Cult and Original Nectar supported through auction items, their time or sponsorship dollars. The Parlor even donated the event space.
Also on hand was a film crew, who began filming the Saving Sophie documentary which will cover the Ryan family’s journey through Sophie’s treatment, the day-to-day at CannaKids and SavingSophie.org and interviews with scientists, medical professionals and patients. The film's goal is to “show how the birth of one child has created this ripple effect, and has helped to change the lives of so many through her struggles and successes."
Auction items ranged from VIP Lakers tickets to flight lessons, and there were bidding battles going on right up until the last minute for some of the items. Raffle items were impressive, including a year membership to Set and Flow Yoga studio and a MERRY JANE package containing an autographed Snoop Dogg CD.
Alongside enticing auction items like VIP Lakers tickets, flight lessons and even a MERRY JANE package with an autographed Snoop CD, the night included bits from generous and talented comedians that donated their time to the worthy cause. The show was hosted by actor John Cleese's daughter, Camilla Cleese, who kicked things off with some humorous off-color jokes. Her routine was followed up by five funny and credentialed comedians (Ben Gleib, Theo Von, Jason Collings, Brent Morin, and Joe Kilgallon) that kept the audience entertained throughout the evening.
The event raised over $10,000 and 100% of the profits went to the CannaKids' families who have children with cancer who need assistance affording their medicine.
“We are extremely excited about not just the turnout for our event, but how much money we were able to raise for our pediatric patients.” Ryan commented. “We hope to do many more of these in future so we can help to alleviate some of the financial struggles from these already very strapped families.”
Find out more information about CannaKids here.