Fox5 News San Diego was on hand for Penny and Dustin Howard’s emotional reunion with their daughter Harper, on what would have been her 6th birthday.
About three months ago, Harper died from complications of a rare form of childhood epilepsy known as CDKL5. The Howards were quick to act in donating her brain and skin cells to the Muotri Lab in La Jolla, California. The lab, part of UCSD’s Department of Pediatrics, is headed by Dr. Alysson Muotri, UCSD’s lead stem cell researcher.
In this first clip from Fox5 News, Dr. Muotri discusses how Harper’s living cells will be used to help forward critically needed research.
Dr. Muotri is making medical history by examining how cannabis might help patients suffering from severe seizures. Through the process of growing “mini-brains” in his lab from Harper’s stem cells, Dr. Muotri intends to gain a greater understanding of Harper’s and similar neurological diseases. Harper’s contribution is unique because her parents gave her Real Scientific Hemp Oil™ for the last 28 months of her life. By conducting his research with a CBD affected brain, Dr. Muotri can better explore how cannabis plays into the treatment of brain disorders.
In this second news clip, Penny Howard discusses the significance to the family of visiting the Muotri Lab on Harper’s birthday and how it feels to see the impact Harper’s contribution will make to research.
Penny was able to hold her daughter again in the form of living brain cells growing in Dr. Muotri’s lab during a tearful moment of their tour. Penny and Dustin see Harper’s donation to medical research as an extension of the awareness she helped raise for CDKL5 and RSHO™ during her short life.
Medical Marijuana Inc. was grateful to be a part of this historic visit. Our media team was with the Howards to document their tour of the lab and, we will have full behind-the-scenes coverage of Penny and Dustin’s visit and a detailed report of the work being done at the Muotri Lab in the coming days.