By Meiko Hester-Perez | Published in Joeysmom.blog.com
Friday May 25,2012 Walking into the Autism One conference 2012 held in Lombard, IL with a friendly face by my side.
James Gierach Board Chairman-elect of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) who I had met on my Autism & Cannabis journey 3 years ago while speaking at various medical & drug policy conferences, it was an honor to have him by side.
As we visit each vendor table, I’m overwhelmed by emotions trying to hold it together.
8 years ago this conference, nor the vast display of products and services were available. I almost burst into tears picking up brochures. With Joey’s new diagnosis DMD (Duchene Muscular Dystrophy) my heart sinks into my heart, deciding if I should grab the brochures.
As I walk into the cannabis & autism one hour seminar, I am reminded of why I went public with this treatment and it certainly looks like we have helped more than just one more family in making this informed “Unconventional” safe and effective treatment option.
The door Joey has opened for this discussion is more important than who delivers the message at this conference. Joey’s smile is the reason why I strive for clinical trials and standard protocols that our American medical community has set into place.
Walking down the hallways of the conference hearing moms say Hi Mieko, its me from Facebook. Being embraced with hugs and smiles from the community that wasn’t afraid to say – Go girl, we’re all behind you.
As I’m sitting in a seminar, I receive an email from the Executive Director of NORML (TheNational Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) informing me their organization and members stand behind me and when I can, please take a look at the NOML website. While I was sitting in this conference my UF4A Team was working on the bridge that myself and the foundation had created. UF4A Survey announcement, one of many news outlets that are buzzing with the ground breaking survey.
I quickly pulled out my iPhone and reached the NORML website – I saw my passion turn into a mission to unite 2 misunderstood communities. I have the leading American Marijuana organization in the country behind me. 3 years ago, I had 3 people behind me: Dr. Hedrick, my attorney Ted Cromwell and Harvard Professor Dr. Lester Grinspoon.
I tend to hold in my feelings, a trait of a warrior’s oath to their mission. but overwhelmed by “the human connection” at this conference, it was very clear to me…I belong here.
The acceptance of just being another mom, touched me profoundly – the family I always had wished, that could understand autism and all it’s challenges and rules…I found with moms like Kate Whelan, Jenny Webster and Kelly Peters.
I Know in my soul, I’m definitely supposed to be the Director of The Unconventional Foundation of Autism.