Success! 8-Year-Old Sophia Can Finally Get the Treatment She Needs for her Seizures

Meet Sophia Nazzarine, an adorable eight-year-old who charms everyone she meets with her brilliant smile and contagious energy.

But Sophia is also one of about a million Americans with “uncontrolled” epilepsy. She was just eight months old when her worried parents took her to the hospital, where she had a seizure, and doctors diagnosed her epilepsy. Sophia now suffers up to 20 seizures a day.


Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube video

Her parents, Nicole and Scott, tried everything to help their daughter, including surgery, but nothing worked. When they found out that Cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound found in medical marijuana, can significantly reduce seizures, they were thrilled. Then they discovered that medical marijuana was not legal in their home state of Ohio.

Drug Policy Alliance stepped in and created a Care2 petition asking that little Sophia get the treatment she needs to stop her seizures.

The petition garnered 119,246 signatures from Care2 members around the world who were touched by Sophia’s story and frustrated that she was being denied treatment simply because of her zip code.

On June 8, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a medical marijuana legalization bill into law, having earlier declared “No, that’s not what we need to do,” when asked if he would sign such a bill. 

Little Sophia will now be able to get the treatment she needs, since epilepsy is included in the list of conditions eligible for medical marijuana.

Thank you to all the Care2 activists who signed this petition, and helped make a difference.

Medical Marijuana Now Legal In 25 States 

Ohio is the 25th U.S. state to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. (It is also legal in the District of Columbia.)

The Ohio bill means that those suffering from chronic pain and the side effects of cancer treatments, as well as epilepsy, could soon be able to treat their pain with marijuana. After long years of delays and opposition, state lawmakers in May approved a plan to legalize medical marijuana for those with a doctor’s referral.

Opinions on the use of medical marijuana have changed dramatically over the past decade.

The New England Journal of Medicine stated that “76% of doctors favor using marijuana for a needy patient.” CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta represents the way that many medical experts have changed their minds, moving from a total rejection of the idea in 2009 to complete acceptance by 2013.

Health Benefits Of Medical Marijuana

Amongst the reasons Gupta gives are that laws against the use of marijuana are not based on science; that marijuana doesn’t have a strong potential for abuse; that in some cases it’s the only thing that works; and it’s safer than a lot of prescription drugs.

We are thrilled that Sophia Nazzarine will now be able to get the treatment she needs. Congratulations to the Drug Policy Alliance and all who signed their petition.

Maybe there’s an issue that you care about, whether local, in your community, or national. If so, it’s easy to start your own petition, using this guide, and you can watch it grow as the Care2 community rallies around your cause.


Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube video


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Julie Cannon
Julie Cannon3 years ago

Good for Sophia!

Teresa W.
Teresa W3 years ago

great news

Kellyanne M.
Kellyanne M3 years ago

This story made me angry. So it is alright to feed a child poison but a plant is just not allowed, even when it has been proven that it is helpful to her condition? If it helps with the awful seizures I say go for it. Who decided that marijuana was harmful anyway?

Susan T.
Susan T3 years ago

@ Jean Dahlquist "I'm not sure you should be giving a kid marijuana. I guess with seizures she's already daily getting brain damage, but still."

CBDs from marijuana or hemp are currently available. There are also many varieties of marijuana, some having higher or lower THC (the get buzzed stuff).

Sometimes the oil is made from the whole plant, leaves, stems and roots. This tends to give a high CBD to THC ratio, as the leaves/buds have the highest THC content. Some people believe that the whole plant is the way to go as there may be some synergistic effects from the whole plant that will be lost from just isolating CDBs. Sadly, as marijuana is still classified federally in the same class as heroin, it's not possible to do studies of its therapeutic effects. This is ridiculous and needs to be changed.

Many of the children who are being treated are kids who would have 0 quality of life or even have died without the treatment. Some have cancer or leukemia. So if they get a little buzzed, well so what? No one thinks twice about what effect a powerful pain med might have. And chemo makes you sick. Better to be a little buzzed, yes? At least they're alive and able to function.

There's a great program called Weediquette on a cable network called Viceland that you should check out if you have curiosity about this subject.

Susie Forbes
Susie Forbes3 years ago

Thank GOD!

Julie W.
Julie W3 years ago

Jean Dahlquist: " it is a component of the marijuana that helps, not the whole thing. So instead of getting kids high, take that part out, and give it to them". Oh, for heaven's sake, that's exactly what medical MJ does! It relieves pain and other symptoms without getting the patient 'high'. Please do your research before making comments.


Rosie A.
Rosemary A3 years ago

Good for Sophia, this is something to be celebrated.

Jean Dahlquist
Jean Dahlquist3 years ago

I'm not sure you should be giving a kid marijuana. I guess with seizures she's already daily getting brain damage, but still. According to the video, it is a component of the marijuana that helps, not the whole thing. So instead of getting kids high, take that part out, and give it to them. Seems like they did it for the medical tests, they could do it again. Sure it's great that getting a kid stoked is better than traditional meds, but it shouldn't be something that is celebrated.

Lynette P.
Lynette P.3 years ago

Same thing happening in Australia. Takes ages for the legislation to go through so some parents are using it illegally but hopefully will not be prosecuted. We are about to go to an election so everything put on hold.