Jana Adams, a Sonoma County real estate broker, has an extensive support group. She needs it and so does her daughter, Brooke, who just turned 6, and who has Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that typically begins in infancy or early childhood and that’s characterized by seizures that can last minutes or hours. The name for the syndrome comes from Charlotte Dravet, a French doctor who discovered the gene mutation that was later named after her.
Brooke was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome when she was nine months old. She had her first seizure on September 24, 2013, when she was just three months. Adams said it helped to attach a name to Brooke’s condition, but the conventional medicines that doctors prescribed didn’t help. In fact, many times they made matters worse. On one occasion, when a seizure lasted three hours, Brooke was hospitalized.
To cope with her medical condition, which is genetic, Adams created a support group that includes her parents, her husband, Jon, who works to support the family, and their three children, Luke, who is the oldest, Max, the middle child, and Faith, the youngest, who enjoys spending time with Brooke and helps care for her.
Luke went to Sacramento on “Lobby Day” to call for legalization of medical cannabis on school campuses, like other medications used by students.
“It takes a village,” Adams tells me in her office in Santa Rosa at Northern Nest, where she is the president of the company she founded in 2015.
The support system that Adams created where none previous existed has five crucial individuals in addition to her biological family members; Sarah Shrader, a cannabis activist with Americans for Safe Access;