A brave East Kilbride boy battling severe epilepsy has promised to walk on hot coals to raise funds for his life-saving cannabis oil.
Nine-year-old Cole Thomson will be at his best alongside his 12-year-old brother Dylan next month in an exciting firewalking challenge.
Led by Mindshift Experiences and hosted by East Kilbride Thistle Football Club – whose players are also taking part – the aim of the fundraiser is to raise a month’s supply of medicinal cannabis to help prevent the epileptic Cole seizure.
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Cole is the focus of East Kilbride community fundraising as he suffers from a rare drug-resistant form of epilepsy.
At worst, he was unable to walk or speak and was eventually hospitalized in an unresponsive condition.
The Canberra Primary student also underwent invasive brain surgery and has been on more than 20 different medications since his diagnosis when he was just three months old.
Cole’s mum Lisa Quarrell has to come up with £1,300 a month for his private prescription and has admitted she is “drowning” in her ongoing battle to access an NHS life-saving cannabis oil.
Bedrolite has changed Cole’s life but the family are unable to secure a free prescription through the NHS.
And it’s hoped the Walk Over Hot Coals for Cole event can help raise enough funds for just a month’s worth of the drug.
Excited about the challenge, Cole told Lanarkshire Live: “I’m feeling pretty great and a little bit nervous.
“I think it’s going to be good because I really don’t want to get sick again and I need my medicine.”
However, big brother Dylan showed his courage, saying he was “not nervous” for the challenged, more “excited”.
He added: “I want to do this for my little brother so he can stay seizure free with his special medicine.
“Also to help my mom because she had to fundraise for three years to protect Cole and she’s tired.”
Lisa has found herself in a vicious cycle, begging policymakers and asking for support from politicians to push reform of current laws surrounding the use of cannabis for medicines.
It is hoped that up to 20 fundraisers will take part in the Mind over Matter challenge at 5pm on 19 February at the EK Thistle site and raise at least £150 each.
Lisa told Lanarkshire Live: “I’ve entered 2022 with a lot of anxiety and stress.
“After three years of campaigning, I’m starting another year of fundraising – I’m exhausted.
“And I always have a queasy feeling waiting for the next cancellation email from the government.
“I’m exhausted, I’m done, I’ve had enough – but I can’t stop. I have three years of evidence that Cole was doing better with the cannabis oil than without it when he almost died.
“He’s not scared, he’s doing great at school and he hasn’t had a seizure since early November.
“I have to move on and keep fighting and just hope that the government does the right thing and allocates funds.”
Lisa recently announced that she will be running as the Labor candidate for East Kilbride Central South in the next local elections, citing the hoe she can influence medical cannabis reform.
Commenting on the firewalking challenge, Lisa said, “I’m so proud of my boys.
“I did a firewalk for Epilepsy Scotland years ago and it was an amazing experience, you come away feeling great.
More participants are needed for the firewalk.
To get involved contact Lisa on 07825 252 523 or visit Cole’s campaign via Facebook.
You can donate on the family donation page.
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