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Medical cannabis helping retired teacher in Apple Valley with cancer

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. ( — Russ Tice is a 64-year-old retired special education teacher who resides in Apple Valley.  That may sound like the average citizen up here, but once you hear Russ’s story, it is anything but average.

Russ was born in Lynwood in 1954, his family would move to the new community of La Mirada a year later. He met his wife Lori at the La Habra Drive-In theatre in 1973, they were engaged in the following week. Growing up, his father was a theatre projectionist, so naturally, Russ followed suit. But with automation driving these jobs out, he sought elsewhere and was hired by Rockwell International in 1980.

Rockwell was a major American manufacturing conglomerate that took part in making launch vehicles and space crafts for the U.S. space program.

“Partnering in the development and operation of the new encrypted video-conferencing system, I was awarded The Astronauts Personal Safety Award in 1998, my wife and I were flown to Cape Canaveral for a week and experience a night launch of the space shuttle,” Russ said via email. 

Unfortunately, aerospace layoffs ran rampant soon after. Russ decided to go back to school at night to get his Masters in Education while working days at Union Pacific and Harley Davidson during the day.

By this time he and Lori were already living in the high desert for eight years with their daughters. “It seemed [like] a better environment for raising our daughters,” Russ explained.

Soon, their seemingly perfect world was about to be torn down. 

“Being a frequent beach-goer up through my teens, sunscreen was not advertised much in the ’60s, tanning was. Besides too much sun, some of my early working environments may have exposed me to harmful substances or chemicals. The most severe was a melanoma that Dr. Gross spotted. Dr. Gross rocks, saved my life. The surgery was major, left shoulder area greatly impacted. My treatments were only Excedrin in small amounts, as I do not take any prescription pain medications of any kind. Yes, it hurt. My wife cared for the open tubed wound for weeks.”

Russ would continue to have dozens of surgeries over the next 20 years leading up to today.

When it became time for him to retire and after the school year was over, Russ decided to give medical cannabis a shot to ease his discomfort and pain.  Some of the options he was introduced to from Medical Cannabis Educational Center, otherwise known as MCEC, are permanent in his pain management routine. Other than the cancer recurring in the same arm, Russ reports that he feels great. 

He continues with, “Having used cannabis products only for external and internal healing, body response was fast, clean, and my mind was always sharp when it popped up again. The cancer was smaller and I was on the go the same day.  Each day is a blessing to my family, friends, and outlook being positive. I dig each day. “

Russ has not let any bit of cancer stop him from living his life to the fullest. 

He continues to travel to different states with Lori, and takes their RV Pahrump, NV on occasion.  He even wrote a column focused on their RV travels called “Rollin with Russ and Lori” for a period of time.  He attributes a lot of his outlook on life to his cannabis use.  

When asked what message he wanted to convey to the high desert community, Russ responded, “I take less prescriptive medications at age 64 than I have in my entire adult life. It’s not about me telling people they should try cannabis, it is more about my right to choose cannabis as my medication choice. It should be every responsible adult’s choice. Cannabis should also be procured from the best-certified quality product available, as MCEC offers.  For the high desert community, I invite you to seek the true, educational facts about cannabis and cannabis products. Cannabis is good medicine. This plant has given me measured relief to enjoy life just that much more, each day. Let those who choose cannabis, choose it freely with no prejudice from long past taboos and untruth about the wonderful cannabis plant. Be well, and stay happy.”

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This post is sponsored by MCEC

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