It’s the biggest cannabis holiday of the year, 4/20. People across the world are lighting up in celebration, but for one Colorado Springs family, this day means so much more.
They call themselves American Medical Refugees. They were forced to shut down their pizzeria in Florida, pack up their bags and move to Colorado Springs so their youngest daughter Sofia could access medical cannabis to treat her seizures and cerebral palsy.
“We find it ridiculous that we had to leave everything my children have ever known, leave our restaurant behind, to chase a plant,” Stefany Patriarca, Sofia’s mother, said.
At six months old, Sofia started having seizures. They tried a bunch of different pharmaceuticals. Sofia was even prescribed opiates, but continued having hundreds of seizures daily.
“Sacrificed everything, leaving everything on the line, selling our business, leaving our family for 20 years, taking a leap of faith and just believing that there’s something better for our daughter,” Christian Patriarca, Sofia’s father, said,
That something was medical marijuana.
After moving to Colorado Springs, Sofia was able to get her MMJ card and is now being treated with a THC oil, going from as many as 1,000 seizures a day to maybe a couple a week.
“Everything that they told us in Florida that she would never be able to do, she’s doing now, and that’s only been with the help of cannabis,” Stefany said.
“She never went to the hospital again after we gave her medical cannabis for a seizure, ever again,” Christian said.
Now that Sofia is thriving, the Patriarcas can focus on the family business. Slice 420 opened up about seven months ago in Old Colorado City, and Sofia is CEO.
“It’s pizza and saving my daughter at the same time,” Christian said.
“Our story is attached to everything that goes out into the public, so people truly know what we’re about, and they’ve come here and they’ve welcomed us in Colorado Springs and Old Colorado City with open arms,” Stefany said.
Slice 420 offers delivery and takeout, and if you come eat in the restaurant, you might even get to meet Sofia.