In September of 2012, Sierra Riddle could not have imagined the direction her life was about to take and that she would be fighting for her son’s life under the scrutiny of national media.
Sierra was a young single mother of a beautiful two year old boy, Landon. Landon had developed a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. The emergency room doctor diagnosed it as a virus and sent him home. Two days later Landon’s armpits were also swollen. “They thought it was either a virus or infection in the lymph nodes, so they gave him some antibiotics.” By day five his groin, abdomen and throat were swollen and he was having trouble breathing. “His whole chest was full of leukemia tumors, which is why he couldn’t breathe,” his mother says. Landon was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at just 2-years-old. “They started him on chemo, but told us that he probably wasn’t going to make it. Landon’s cancer had quickly progressed, leading doctors to give him an 8% chance of survival.” Landon was originally given only a 10 percent chance of living through the first two days of treatment.
Doctors put Landon on a four-year treatment plan. The first two months of chemo went fairly well, but then Landon became extremely ill. He had been prescribed medications like OxyContin and morphine — medications with significant side effects. Landon suffered from stomach failure, and “the OxyContin made him so miserable, when he had hair, he would literally try to pull his hair out.” Sierra watched her toddler becoming dependent on narcotic pain killers. “Around the clock, he was usually on liquid morphine, Ativan, Promethazine,” Sierra told CNN. “And it just really didn’t seem to be helping.”
Sierra was determined to do more than safe her son’s life, she wanted a quality life for Landon. Her journey led her to the Realm of Caring. Landon began with what’s called CBD oil from marijuana containing a very low level THC, the psychoactive ingredient. Wendy Riddle, Landon’s grandmother, says the effects “were almost immediate”.
This is not the end of Sierra’s story, it is the beginning. It is the beginning of a battle that propelled Sierra Riddle into the national spotlight.
She quickly connected with groups of patients and began speaking at local events. Sierra and Landon’s story became part of Dr. Gupta Sanjay’s documentary on Medical Marijuana. Except
Fueled by her passion to provide access to safe, natural cannabis and education to people diagnosed with cancer Sierra became an activist for patients’ rights and sought after national speaker. She was instrumental in the founding of CannaMommy.
CannaMommy Clinic is a free online resource that establishes a bridge between the patient and provider, eliminating the fear of CPS or law enforcement.
Sierra and Landon had moved to Colorado where Landon, who would become the youngest medical marijuana patient in the state, could have access to his medicine.
Landon’s oncology team began reporting Sierra to Child Protective Services for refusing to give Landon chemotherapy despite the documented improvement in his health. She was being accused of medical abuse and neglect. The oncology team was advocating to put Landon in medical foster care in order to resume his chemo treatments. Face to face with the director of CPS, her son’s team of doctors, top administrators from the Children’s Hospital Colorado oncology department and lawyers Sierra began a second battle for her son’s health and well being.
“Listen: Here’s all this chemo you told CPS he cannot live without, and if I didn’t give it to him, he would relapse and die.” Sierra dumped a bag of prescription drugs onto the table.
It had been over a year since Landon had taken the meditation. The doctors’ could not argue his improvement.
“I just want to say, no matter what I am not going to give him chemo, but I’m not going to risk losing him either. I’m not going to push it that far.”
Sierra was prepared for this battle. Realm of Caring provided the opportunity to educate herself on cannabis and cannabidiol therapies. She relentently sought out every piece of research on cannabis and cannabidiol therapies. Sierra has become known as an expert in Pediatric Cannabis/CBD Therapy and speaks at medical conferences throughout the country.
A passion for providing her son with health coupled with her passion for the plant inspired Landons Health Hut.
“Landon’s Health Hut provides natural and organic CBD health products created right in my own kitchen. As I researched natural and alternative health, it was crazy to me that people thought they had to rely on such harsh pharmaceutical medicines to feel better. They couldn’t recognize the ingredients and they had side effects that were so severe. In the beginning stages, I found old-time remedies that I knew I could enhance with my newfound knowledge of healing.
I used ingredients from my own kitchen and made them into powerful healing agents. And you know what? There was nothing scary about my formulations, because the ingredients were REAL and authentic.”
2019 the first harvest of a boutique strain, Landon’s Legacy from Green Seed Farm. It yielded half a pound as was popular with the patrons of Steve’s Greens Cannabis + Wellness.
“Landon’s Legacy is a high-THC medicinal cannabis strain, and it is something that we are very proud of and have worked on for quite a few years and it will be marketed as a strain that is fantastic for children with a multitude of health issues and terminal illnesses and will always be grown organically,” Sierra Riddle said. “I’m only allowing contracts with dispensaries that are going to do it the right way as well as give back to their local communities there because that’s what it’s all about. Part of my partnership agreement is that they — whoever wants to carry my genetics and have access to all of these amazing things — will donate 10 to 20 percent of those sales for those specific genetics back into my nonprofit, which will then continuously be able to help people in their communities. As well, we are an international nonprofit and so we help families all over the world with plant-based medicine as well as plant-based education.”
“Landon’s Revenge is the second strain, and it’s just about ready to go as sending it across state lines and being ready for a full-blown production grow,” she said. “And that is going to be a high-CBD strain with a healthy amount of CBG, CBN and THC. And that will be also marketed mainly as a safe medication for children with illnesses and everything else but obviously works fantastically for adults as well. It’s just here at Landon’s Health Hut, we like to focus on children with terminal illnesses and life-threatening diseases.”
Sierra Riddle was an ordinary young woman who through her battles evolved into an extraordinary woman shaking things up and making change happen.
“Landon now is going to celebrate seven years cancer-free this year, which also will mark five years past any medical treatment, which is what the medical community considers cured,” Sierra said. “For Landon, we’ll be cured medically this year, and he is the first and only child to have successfully survived childhood leukemia without the treatment.”