An hour-long programme will be aired on Channel 4 on Monday 28 January, following the story of a family trying to access medical cannabis.
The programme, Steph & Dom: Can Cannabis Save Our Son?, will feature former stars of Channel 4’s show Gogglebox, Steph and Dom Parker. It will introduce their children 15-year-old daughter Honor and 18-year-old son Max. Max has severe epilepsy and autism and nothing has been able to control his seizures. He has so far not been able to access cannabis-based treatment.
The programme will tell the family’s story and follow them as they travel around the UK and the US to find out more about cannabis-based medicines.
Steph and Dom have said in interviews that they are not expecting cannabis-based medicines to be a cure-all. They have said they are hoping that it could reduce Max’s seizures and improve his quality of life.
The programme comes shortly after the UK government changed the law allowing cannabis-based medicines to be available on prescription in November 2018. Since the change in law, the guidance provided to specialists for prescribing cannabis-based medicine has been criticised for being too restrictive.
Epilepsy Action deputy chief executive Simon Wigglesworth said:
“The Parker family have done a fantastic job in highlighting this complex and important issue. It’s hard not to be moved when hearing the family’s experience but sadly their story is one that we are hearing all too often.
“Even though the law changed only recently to make access to cannabis-based medicines easier, Epilepsy Action is concerned that the current clinical guidance is too restrictive for both children and adults.
“It suggests that cannabis-based medicines will only be an option for a very limited number of people with epilepsy who have two specific syndromes. Though this is welcome, there are children and adults with other complex and treatment-resistant epilepsy syndromes who could potentially also benefit.”
Steph and Dom first shared Max’s story back in December 2015 in The Times. They spoke to Epilepsy Today in 2016 and explained that Max’s condition was something that was private to them and their family. However, they decided to tell his story before somebody else did and got it wrong.
Steph and Dom spoke about the challenges of schooling, the difficulties for brothers and sisters and the importance of awareness. They added that they believe epilepsy research is key in understanding the condition and getting more information on treatments.