Emmett woman who prayed to die speaks out on 'miracle of cannabis'

Posted at 9:56 PM, Dec 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-21 23:56:09-05
When Katie Donahue was about 8 years old she started noticing that something was wrong. 
The left side of her face wasn't growing the same way the right side was.
"W went to a couple of doctors and things like that but no one knew what it was," said Donahue.
Tired of being relentlessly bullied in school, and desperate for answers, at 18 Donahue went to Shrines Hospital in Chicago and was diagnosed with an extremely rare disorder called Parry-Romberg Disease.
"That is characterized by a slow progression or wasting away of 1/2 of the head," said Donahue.
While answers were a relief, the pain from the disease soon took over.
"It's excruciatingly painful all the time continuously no matter what is happening there is pain," said Donahue.
She said at times the pain is so violent, all she can do is lay in bed and pray.
"I pray a lot. I'm sure God is sick of hearing from me. I pray so much," said Donahue. "I prayed for God to take me home, that if this was going to be the way the disease was going to go and that if my family was just going to have to watch me suffer and waste away to death, then to please let the disease take me now."
In search of relief from the pain, Donahue said she tried just about everything, having radio frequency waves shot into the nerves in her head, steroid injections, medication, and pills including the highly addictive Methadone.
No matter what she tried, Katie said nothing ever relieved the constant agony, until she discovered the medicinal source of marijuana such as CBD and hemp oil.
"All of the pain just stopped, just like completely stopped," said Donahue.
Thinking that it was too good to be true, Katie made an unusual promise. She told herself that if in 10 days the pain was still gone, she would shave her head, all the while thinking to herself that it would never actually happen. 
 "Ten days later I buzzed all of my hair off because it worked. It did more things for my disease and the pain it causes than anything else I have ever tried," said Donahue. "It was a miracle."
Katie maintains while it is truly a miracle that her pain is gone, staying that way requires her to act like and be treated like a criminal.
"I don't think anybody wants to break the law," said Donahue, "but I am also am stuck between a rock and a hard place, you know, faced with a double-edged sword."
Because all forms of marijuana are illegal in Idaho, she is forced to travel to states like Oregon or Colorado to get it. The entire time, living a fear that a simple traffic stop could end up with her in prison.
"I think Idaho really needs to acknowledge the medical value," said Donahue. "I would like to see Idaho establish a medical marijuana program."