Since the enactment of ACT16, the Medical Marijuana Act, in 2016 in Pennsylvania, I have taken on the role at the Medical Cannabis Society as the Managing Director.

I became involved with the medical cannabis advocacy movement in 2013 and helped establish the organization, Campaign for Compassion, an organization of parents dedicated to advocate and educate the public as well as the general assembly concerning the positive effects of the often misunderstood realm of cannabis treatment. My involvement and dedication to this movement started when my now fourteen year old daughter, Hannah, whom suffers from severe intractable epilepsy was told she was out of viable medical treatment options. Since then, Hannah been losing her ability to walk effectively on her own, she lost her ability to eat and drink and now relies solely on a feeding tube, she no longer makes any sounds and smiling and laughter are a distant memory. Hannah has had nearly 10,000 seizures a year and over 100,000 seizures in her lifetime thus far. Since restarting Medical cannabis at the end of January, 2017, Hannah is trending to have around 1800 seizures this year … a considerable decrease. We will continue to work on decreasing these numbers towards our goal of a better quality of life.Our journey has been shared throughout the world through social media outlets, local news broadcasts and Chronicles, National media outlets and the USA Today. I am committed to educating individuals and medical professionals on the benefits of medical cannabis as the medical cannabis industry evolves in Pennsylvania as one of the most successful programs in the United States.

In addition to medical cannabis advocacy, I run my own consulting business. After working for 10 years at a public accounting firm in Pittsburgh, I started HCRConsulting, LLC, where I provide third party reimbursement expertise to Skilled Nursing Facilities throughout Pennsylvania. I primarily assistance and support the finance department in all aspects of the revenue billing cycle as well as compile Medicare and Medical Assistance Cost Reports. Furthermore, I have served as the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania patient representative for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF). I have also held several successful fundraising events for the UMDF. My participation in the lobbying efforts, press conferences and various methods of campaigning for the successful passage of Senate Bill 3 in Pennsylvania has given me the drive and determination to help other states share the same success stories. Every state should legalize Medical Cannabis. I will not “give up” until all patients are given access to a whole plant that has potential to provide for a better quality of life.

“When the world says “Give up” … Hope whispers … try one more time” – unknown.

In addition to the above, I am very excited to announce the launch of, Empower Your Odyssey, a life-style brand apparel company. April 12th will be the first date of sales! The proceeds from the sale of products will go directly towards the start-up costs of Hannahtopia so that we can make our dreams of brightening the lives of others a reality. When you brighten a child’s life, you brighten a family’s, which in turn strengthens families during difficult times. Hannahtopia will be an online unique boutique that will offer trendy, fun and functional apparel for children sufffering from medical special needs.

Heather Shuker

Vice President of Business Development and Sales for CMH Brands