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Mom 'forced' to choose chemo again

By Olivia Wilmsen, Multimedia Journalist, olivia.wilmsen@krdo.com
Published On: Oct 04 2013 11:25:22 PM CDT

A Colorado Springs mom made a tough decision. Her three-year-old with leukemia will go back to chemotherapy.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

A Colorado Springs mom made a tough decision. Her three-year-old with leukemia will go back to chemotherapy.    

Sierra Riddle was facing two decisions for little Landon. Will she go back to recommendations from oncologists? That means three more years of chemo -- that she says made her son sick, but was medically proven to help. The other decision: will she go with her gut and continue using cannabis, which Landon is positively responding to and other doctors say will work.

Sierra said doctors gave her no choice in making what she calls a "devastating" decision. The hospital told her: Landon must go back on chemo or she'll face legal action.

Landon riddle loves the park like any other three-year-old, but once he's back on chemotherapy, mom says his energy to play will quickly vanish.

"It's not only disappointing. It's disgusting,” said Riddle.

The fact is Landon's doctor is threatening her for refusing chemo.

"It'd be a different story if Landon was not doing well, if he was not in remission,” she said.

She argues Landon is healthier with cannabis capsules, but in order to keep custody of her son she met with Child Protective Services on Wednesday. (10/2/13) They promised to work with her to tailor the chemo, but that promise wasn’t what sierra hoped for.

"They've only cut down the steroid dose by half," said Riddle.

Sierra's biggest fear is seeing how Landon reacts to his treatments.

“It’s heartbreaking,” she said.

Still, wanting to respect the doctor's professional opinion, she did her own research.

"You will not find one child with leukemia that has ever fought cancer and survived without chemotherapy,” said Riddle.

However, one question remains.

 "Why is no one willing to listen to me on the side effects?" asked Riddle.

 In the meantime, Landon will try to enjoy the park while mom copes with reality.

"It's like soul-shattering that they have the power to do this to my child,” said Riddle.

Landon starts his chemotherapy again on Monday (10/7/13) while Sierra continues her search for an oncologist who will support cannabis.

Doctors say the reason Landon needs chemo instead of cannabis is because chemotherapy is "medically proven" to work.

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