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Hemp Help: North Texas Family Helps Brazil With Hemp Laws

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CARROLLTON -- “They were like she was being electrocuted, and there was no plug to pull.”

We met the Howards, who live in Carrollton, last year. Their five-year-old daughter, Harper, suffers from a disorder called CDK5.

“It's a rare, non-hereditary genetic disorder that has a number of issues that go along with it,” said Harper's mom, Penny Howard.

The biggest issue is uncontrollable seizures, but ever since they started giving Harper hemp oil, which is legal in Texas, they say they’ve seen a huge change in her shocking shakes.

“So we went from 64 to 22 in one week,” Penny said.

Harper's parents started a blog to share their success story and it didn’t take long for other folks to take notice, including a mom in Brazil.

“We started to see in October of 2013 that Penny was publishing things from Harper,” Katiele Bortoli told Newsfix via Skype.

Now, the challenge for Katiele Bortoli was to figure out how  to get hemp oil for her young daughter.

“The Brazilian government does not allow any hemp derivative in Brazil and I guess all of it is illegal,” Harper’s dad, Dustin, said.

“They considered us drug dealers because we were importing without authorization,” Katiele said.

The Bortoli’s  got busted, but the family fought back and got the laws in Brazil changed to allow folks a shot at using hemp oil.

“All the credit needs to go to them as far as what's happening in Brazil; we just happen to be the family that shared the story they happen to see,” Dustin said.