Hiking through the trails in Colorado is more than a vacation for Sherise Nipper. It's a sign of freedom and that she has energy.
The 35-year-old took her family out for a stroll to celebrate seven days of being seizure free. It's something she never imagined was possible.
For the last decade she has lived with seizures after she was diagnosed with epilepsy following a traumatic brain injury. Since then, she's searched for relief and anything to stop the uncontrollable from happening.
Seizures are part of each and every day. Sometimes the number she has can be quite daunting. In her purse she carries a cocktail of prescription medications. Her youngest son, nine-year-old Kyler, calls his mom a zombie and says there are times she doesn't remember his name. Towards the end of April, Nipper had anywhere between 30 and 50 seizures.
She and her family realized they had to do something. Not knowing what to expect they packed the family car and headed west to Colorado. Nipper and her husband Nicholas brought Kyler and their older son, 15-year-old Hunter.
Through Facebook, Nipper connected with Green Horizon Medical. The group is a cannibas consulting company. Chris Seliga started the business after he and his wife moved from Wisconsin for medical marijuana. His wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Not long after arriving, Nipper started introducing medical marijuana into her system.
"I feel better than I have felt in as long as I can remember," said Nipper. She's going on nine days without a seizure.
She credits cannibas and the CBD oil found in marijuana. Instead of smoking it Nipper takes it orally through drops and even wear a patch.
"She's waking up with a fire that I cannot explain," said Nicholas Nipper about his wife.
"I'm getting a second chance at being a mom and a second chance at being a wife and a second chance at being a citizen. I'm forever grateful for the chance," said Nipper tearfully.
The day the family went hiking Hunter took out his cell phone and recorded many of his mother's steps.
"I don't expect it to last because I'm so used to her having seizures so I'm just trying to keep the memory,"said Hunter.
The trip for the Nippers started as a 30 day trial. They are staying in a hotel thanks to the kindness of strangers but are looking for something more permanent. The Nippers say there is no way they can come back to Texas any time soon.
"Knowing if we go back she is sick or we have the tools we need and the kids get taken away so that's not an option," said Nicholas Nipper.
Sherise Nipper hopes to see the laws in Texas change. While lobbying lawmakers this session she pushed through several seizures. The CBD oil bill is a start she says but not enough. She'd like to see the whole marijuana plant legalized.
"Texas has my heart but they can't have my life anymore," said Nipper. She feels politics is preventing her from finding this kind of relief at home.
"We had two seizure free days and realized we were playing with something big," said Nipper.
Nipper's epilepsy isn't going away and she is prepared for set backs.
For the time being she will buy cannibas recreationally until she can establish residency.
"I can still fight for Texas but I can fight from a safe zone," she said. Leaving life in Texas won't be easy but they believe it is best for their family.
"I'm having so much fun playing with my kids and these moments are priceless," said Nipper. Moments she hopes will last a lifetime.
The Nippers want to eventually look at helping others.