John says, "When taking opioids Maxine's quality of life was far too diminished and she just wasn't the same. We knew we had to find an alternative. It was medicinal cannabis."
Within days of being prescribed medicinal cannabis, John says it was able to completely relieve Maxine’s pain, help her to sleep and to continue her life as normal during the next three-years as she battled stage 4 of the disease, before passing away on 21 March 2021.
“Even during the cancer treatments Maxine remained positive about life and our future. She was an inspiration for many, particularly the younger women we would meet in oncology waiting rooms, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time,” says John.
While being prescribed medicinal cannabis, Maxine and John read as much as they could about the treatment and found numerous examples of it successfully restraining cancer, without anyone really knowing why.
Through a personal donation and in loving memory of his wife, John has established The Maxine Rava Cannabis for Cancer Research and Health Care Fund at Flinders University, which aims to advance the use and acceptance of medicinal cannabis for cancer treatment and to research the potential for it to cure cancer.
The fund will enable world-leading researchers at Flinders University’s Centre for Innovation in Cancer to work alongside cancer researchers in Israel - bringing the latest medicinal cannabis research and breakthroughs to Australia.
In Haifa, Israel, Dr David Meiri runs the Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Cannabinoid Research at the Technion. With 38 researchers, it is the largest lab of its kind to investigate the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids, the naturally occurring chemicals found in the cannabis plant. The lab is currently studying how cannabinoids affect various types of cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune diseases.
The research will be the catalyst for precise combinations of medical cannabis compounds to soon be clinically trialled in Australia and Israel, following successful laboratory studies in Israel.
“We hope that this research will provide the necessary steps to increase the quality of life for many, and to help treat and defeat one cancer at a time,” says John.