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The Walking Dead star is taking aim at cancer by raffling off signed memorabilia.

Walking Dead star Norman Reedus, known for wielding a crossbow against hordes of the undead on television, is setting his sights on childhood cancer. In support of Saving Sophie, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting children and adults who need medical cannabis treatments, Reedus is raffling off Walking Dead merchandise that he’s autographed.

The move is something of a rerun as Reedus raised funds for CannaKids last year. For this fundraiser, participants can pay a minimum of $5 for a raffle ticket. The money will go to Saving Sophie, which will use the proceeds to expand the organization’s medical cannabis research program to a yet-to-be-determined university in southern California.

Currently, Saving Sophie has four children and four adults participating in their research who are using medical cannabis treatments alongside conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.

Saving Sophie was created by the parents of Sophie Ryan, whose story is featured in the documentary Weed the People. The documentary explored the lives of families who have turned to medical cannabis to treat their child’s cancer.

While the stigma surrounding providing children with marijuana-based treatments has not dissipated, some research has shown that such treatments have been effective in combating glioblastoma, a brain cancer. Sophie Ryan’s own glioma tumor shrunk by 90% with a combo treatment of chemotherapy and cannabis oils.

Despite these early indicators of effectiveness, critics and detractors stand in the way simply on the virtue of the medicine being marijuana-based. Some debates have arisen over whether pediatric patients should be allowed to bring their medical cannabis to school and use it there. The stigma also forces some parents to turn to shady pathways to get their hands on the potentially life-saving medicine for their children.

Improving the public perception of medical cannabis may be one of the most important contributions Reedus is making with his new campaign. Advocates believe such a celebrity endorsement aimed at saving the lives of children is likely to get the attention and support of the general public.

Reedus isn’t the only cast member of the Walking Dead franchise who has done their part to fight negative stigma in health treatment. Kevin Zegers spoke openly about his sobriety on Entertainment Tonight Canada.

“The reason I go to an AA meeting on my birthday—the reason we’re urged to do that—is not for you, but you do it for others, to indicate it’s possible, which in the depths of addiction doesn’t feel possible,” he explained in the interview. “I think it’s our duty, even with, you know, a very small amount of fame, which I sometimes have, to go, ‘Oh s***, that guy suffers, too.’”

View the original article at thefix.com

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