Eleven-year-old Ashley Surin just wants to go to school with her classmates. After suffering seizures due to treatment for leukemia, her parents said, only medical marijuana helped her – but by state law, the drug wasn’t allowed at school.
The parents filed suit to let their daughter receive the drug at school, and on Friday, they suddenly got their wish – officials from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office and Schaumburg School District 54 agreed to let the girl receive her medication while they try to iron out the legalities.
“I’m in pinch-me mode,” the girl’s mother, Maureen Surin, said. “I’m excited. This is not just going to help her, I hope it’s going to help other kids down the road.”
The agreement applies only to Ashley, but eventually could have ramifications for students across Illinois, attorneys said. Ultimately, those involved said, the issue probably will have to be addressed by changing state law to allow medical marijuana at schools for children with serious illness.
“We’re just glad that the parties involved … worked in concert to help a child,” the girl’s attorney, Steven Glink, said.
Ashley, a 6th-grader at Hanover Highlands Elementary School in Hanover Park, was diagnosed with leukemia at age 2, and has been in remission since 2011, but as a result of brain damage from the prescription chemotherapy drug methotrexate, she has suffered daily debilitating seizures, her father, Jim Surin, said.
One of the seizures caused her to fall and hit her head, which led to brain surgery last summer, he said. After all their daughter has been through, her father described her as “the bravest girl on Earth,” and her mother called her a “rock star.”
Ashley began taking medical marijuana the first week of December, wearing a patch on her