Local teen with epilepsy heading to our nation's capitol - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local teen with epilepsy heading to our nation's capitol

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A Cedar Falls teen is taking her lifelong, personal experience with epilepsy to the nation's capitol.
KWWL's Jessica Hartman catching up with the 14-year old Kendall and her parents before she heads off to Washington D.C.

It is a trip that symbolizes a lot for Kendall Maslak - - she has been seizure free for a year- - and with that has started to read. 
   and now she will be representing Iowans with epilepsy from across the state -- advocating for law changes that could improve the quality of life for many of them.

"It has been a battle," says Kendall's dad, Ed Maslak.

 At 17 months Kendall suffered her first seizure and has been a frequent visitor to the hospital ever since.
"Before this one year reprieve, we were a seizure every 4-7 days. Every six months it was going to the emergency room because she had a seizure that we couldn't get to break even with rescue meds. She has tried 8-10 different medications. She has had a brain surgery at three years old. A brain surgery fie years old," said Maslak.

 Now, for the time being, doctors have found a medication that stops Kendall's seizures, allowing her brain to develop in ways it hasn't been able to.

 It is all part of the story she can't wait to share on capitol hill.
 "Excited," said Kendall.

 She will be meeting with, "Grassley, Ernst, Blum, and Young," said Maslak.

 In part, Kendall and her dad plan to advocate for law changes that would make it easier for cannabis oil to be used to treat medical conditions like Kendall's and Garrett Decker's, the 4 year old  from Cedar Falls that KWWL introduced to you last week. Garrett suffers from seizures nearly every day.

 "When I think of Garrett who is 10 years younger than Kendall and you are talking about things like cannabis 10 years ago. She is starting to read now, how many years ago would she have started to read? She had two brain surgeries, maybe she wouldn't have had any. Maybe she wouldn't have tried all these medications. That's when we talk about the cannabis piece, it is life changing as well," said Maslak.

 Although Kendall is seizure free now, there is a chance her medication could stop working.
 In that case, cannabis oil would be the next option.
 The oil has been know to give epilepsy patients a seizure free life.

 Kendall is going to D.C. this weekend as part of Teens Speak Up hosted by the National Epilepsy Foundation.

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