SIOUX CITY, Iowa - A Siouxland teenager is suffering from a rare and debilitating disease that causes personality changes, seizures, weakness, and even brain damage. She has been suffering for a year, but may have found a remedy to her pain.
Madison Boehme says, "One day, just randomly my body decided that my brain was a foreign object."
20-year-old Boehme suffers from autoimmune encephalitis. it's a rare disease that causes the body's immune system to mistakenly attack healthy brain cells, leading to inflammation of the brain.
"Burning like my brain is almost being fried is how I would describe it," says Boehme.
A pain she recounts as so unbearable, she had to drop out of school.
Boehme explains, "It's caused Just a bunch of different ramifications in my life and has made it harder for me to function on a daily basis."
For relief, she visited the emergency room on numerous occasions- even going multiple times a day.
Heidi Boehme, Madison's mom says, "We doctored everywhere. We knocked on doors and knocked on doors until we could get help for her."
During her trips to the hospital Boehme says doctors would prescribe her powerful pain meds, but it was never enough. Until one day she found relief in a product called CBD oil.
"Those pain meds would not touch my pain and CBD is the only thing that has helped my pain," says Boehme.
CBD is an oil only recently legalized in Iowa and has raised controversy for its content of THC.
"I was skeptical because all I knew about CBD was that it was a derivative of hemp and marijuana and that was really not anything I wanted our family to be apart of," says Madison's mom.
But after 2 years of debilitating pain, Madison's mom was desperate to find answers. She said, "You can only watch someone you love suffer for so long before you'll try anything"
And although it will never cure her disease, with the use of CBD oil, Madison has taken her life back.
"It's been one of the best things I've done for my disease so far," says Boehme.
"Our family is stronger because of it and I see Madison's strength shine through," says her mom.
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