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Special report: One Florida family risked everything to treat their son with medical marijuana

Tyler Yeckley, 5, rests on an air mattress at home while friends watch a movie. After Tyler was diagnosed with a brain cancer, his parents went to great extremes to seek treatment for him. [

MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Tyler Yeckley, 5, rests on an air mattress at home while friends watch a movie. After Tyler was diagnosed with a brain cancer, his parents went to great extremes to seek treatment for him. [ MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published Aug. 26, 2016

Kristen Yeckley was standing in line to see Santa Claus with her 4-year-old son Tyler when she noticed something strange about his eyes.

They seemed to be crossed, with the right eye turned inward. Kristen called out, asking Tyler to look at her, but his eyes wouldn't straighten.

The observation touched off visits to doctors' offices and, ultimately, a terrible diagnosis. Doctors told Kristen and her husband Joe that there were no options, and not to look for any.

"Stay off the computer," one said. "Take your son to the park."

As the Yeckleys reeled, a friend mentioned reading about marijuana's effects on cancer. Kristen started printing out study after study.

But medical marijuana wasn't an option in Florida.

With doctors presenting no other alternatives, the Yeckleys would decide to split up their family to pursue the one wisp of hope Kristen felt she had.

As a mother, Kristen needed to know she had done everything she could to give her son a chance.

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