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Apr 07 2013

April 19th: Meet Snoop Dogg in Denver

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 10.54.09 AMWe can’t think of a better way to kick off 420 weekend here in Denver than a chance to meet the man himself, Snoop Lion… better known as Snoop Dogg . If you’ve got an extra $420 to spare, you could do just that. Snoop will be in Denver for a screening of his new film, “Reincarnated” at the Fillmore Auditorium on April 10th …after the screening, anyone who purchases a VIP Meet and Greet Package will have the opportunity to “hang out with Snoop in his green room VIP style”.

$420 VIP Packages Include:

  • Autographed Headshot
  • VIP seating to the green carpet screening of Reincarnated
  • Pic & toke meet & greet session with Snoop backstage in his green room after the screening

About The Film, Reincarnated:

Among the most successful and respected artists in the music community, Snoop Dogg built a 20-year career on hard hitting beats under themes of sex, violence and hard partying. Speaking for a generation of players, pimps and hustlers, Snoop brought the West Coast street life into the homes of millions of people around the world.

Reaching an introspective point in his life, Snoop visited the island of Jamaica to
record a roots reggae influenced album. Approaching his experiences in Jamaica with an open heart, Snoop came face to face with the spiritual strength of the island nation. This vision of love and compassion expanded his sense of self and forever changed his life. Through film and music, REINCARNATED tells the story of Snoop Dogg’s personal journey of re-birth and blessing. Ultimately becoming Snoop Lion.

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  • Guest

    My name is Zach Branson. I was born to
    Kelly Jeanine Flowers and Todd Branson on January 2, 1987 in Grand
    Junction, CO. Within 1-2 weeks of my birth, I was diagnosed (in
    Denver) with biliary atresia. Biliary Atresia is a blockage in the
    tubes (ducts) that carry a liquid called bile from the liver to the
    gallbladder. Biliary atresia occurs when the
    bile ducts inside or outside the liver do not develop normally. It is
    not known why the biliary system fails to develop normally.

    The
    bile ducts help remove waste from the liver and carry salts that help
    the small intestine break down (digest) fat. In babies with biliary
    atresia, bile flow from the liver to the gallbladder is blocked. This
    can lead to liver damage and cirrhosis of the liver, which is deadly
    if not treated. Biliary atresia is rare
    and only affects about one out of every 18,000 infants. The disease
    is more common in females, premature babies, and children of Asian or
    African American heritage

    At roughly five weeks old
    (2//13/1987) I had my first operation, the Kasai procedure at the
    University of Colorado Hospital by Dr. John R. Lilly, M.D. Upon
    entering my abdomen I was discovered to be completely absent of
    extrahepatic ducts.

    On 5/15/1987 I underwent a revision
    to the original Kasai in an attempt to control excessive bile loss.

    I had numerous complications early on
    as I was in the hospital most of my infant life.

    When I was roughly 3 years old and my
    younger sister, Ashley, was one, my mom introduced us to a new man
    that would eventually marry our mom and become our “Dad.” They
    married in 1992.

    I attended Lincoln Orchard Mesa
    Elementary School in Grand Junction, CO. I grew up with a fairly
    normal childhood. With the exception that I wasn’t allowed to play
    sports. One hit to the liver could have killed me. I had occasional
    bouts of cholangitis that would prompt
    E.R. visits and hospital stays.

    When I was eight years old my mom,
    stepdad, sister, and I moved to Las Vegas, NV and lived there for
    roughly six years. While living in Las Vegas I can’t recall having
    any major episodes where I was hospitalized.

    In 1999 or 2000 my mom and dad
    separated and got divorced due to infidelity on my mother’s part. My
    mom, sister and I moved in with my mom’s boyfriend, Danny, and lived
    with him for a year or two where my mom became addicted to crystal
    methamphetamine and alcohol.

    I had to go to Children’s Hospital in
    Denver once a year for extensive check-ups and procedures. At the
    last of these check-ups when I was 13 or 14 years old I brought up to
    my liver specialists the use of marijuana as a medicine and tried to
    confirm from them that marijuana was in fact not dangerous medically.
    This was because my mom didn’t like me using marijuana and tried to
    tell me all the time that it was bad for my liver. I’m sure she
    also feared it being a “gateway” drug; as it was for her. My
    doctors neither confirmed nor denied that marijuana was beneficial
    and not dangerous. That right there said it all to me. I instantly
    knew something was up.

    I was introduced to marijuana when I
    was roughly 12 years old by my two best friends Eric and Matias. I
    instantly knew that cannabis was for me. Controlling my pain and
    nausea with cannabis was working better for me than the pills the
    doctors were giving me, they did nothing but make me sick. While in
    the eighth grade I was caught with possession of marijuana and I was
    arrested(handcuffed and escorted off school property in front of half
    the school population and shoved in the back of a police cruiser) and
    sent to juvenile detention for having 2-3 grams. I was in a holding
    cell for roughly 8-10 hours before my mom came and picked me up. I
    was put on probation, had to pay fines, restitution, had community
    service and mandatory random UA’s. I continued to use marijuana
    without any fear of the consequences I could have faced due to its
    amazing ability to keep me pain free. I was never taken to my random
    (scheduled but I didn’t know dates) UA’s. When Ashley and I were
    sent to Phoenix to stay with our biological dad my mom was notified
    by law enforcement in Las Vegas that I was in violation of probation
    and I was scheduled for a court appearance. I was told that I could
    have faced anywhere from 1-3 years in juvenile detention for
    probation violation. My mom went to the court date on my behalf as I
    was out of state. She informed the Judge of the situation and where I
    was living. So the judge dropped/dismissed the charges and said I was
    Arizona’s problem now.

    In the summer of 2001 Ashley and I
    visited with our biological father who lives in Phoenix, AZ. Towards
    the end of the summer, due to my mom’s substance abuse and
    relationship problems she lost her job. Ashley and I started that
    school year in Phoenix. We were in school for roughly 3-4 weeks
    before Ashley and I were then sent to live with our stepdad who moved
    back to Grand Junction after he and my mom divorced.

    Because the school systems’ were so
    different between Grand Junction and Phoenix, I was unable to start
    school for a couple months. My mom eventually moved back to Grand
    Junction a few months later and she was pregnant with Ashley and I’s
    younger sister Lenaye. Lenaye’s dad was my mom’s boyfriend Danny.
    Ashley and I moved back in with our mom, staying with a few different
    friends before we got our own apartment.

    At this point I
    was a sophomore in high school and had only been enrolled in high
    school for 2 months so I had zero credits. I was enrolled in
    Palisade high School in Palisade, CO. My sophomore year of high
    school I ditched school a lot. I did this in rebellion I believe or
    for attention from my mom because all of her attention was on
    alcohol, and her alcoholic friends. I spent a lot of time doing
    whatever I pleased whenever I pleased. I met my 2 best friends my
    sophomore year. The first one was a classmate of mine named Brian.
    The second was a recent A&P college graduate Russell. Russell
    became more or less a mentor for Brian and I as Russell is a complete
    genius. He specializes in mechanics. He is certified to work on
    anything that has an engine. The 3 of us spent a lot of time
    together.

    Because my mom was focused on her
    friends and alcohol I got my first job at 15 years old working at KFC
    to help support myself. From my very first job I have been praised
    and a highly valued member of the team as I take pride in the work I
    do, whatever it might be.

    At the beginning of Brian and I’s
    junior year we decided that we wanted to finish school and do
    something with our lives. So we got a recommendation from our
    principal to be enrolled in an alternative school that helps you get
    you high school credits faster than the normal school system. The
    school day was 3 hours of straight school assignments and tests. You
    learn at your own pace more or less. I started my junior year with
    1.5 high school credits. To graduate we were required to have 25
    credits. Every day before I went to school I would smoke a few bowls
    or a couple joints. I did this because when I did not have any
    marijuana and went to school without I completed less work. When I
    went to school after consuming marijuana I was able to do 2-3 times
    the amount of work. The entire school year I was on “Straight-A
    Honor Roll.” I completed my junior year with roughly 15 high
    school credits. This was all while my mom was getting drunk all the
    time, and hanging out with her alcoholic friends. Her mom actually
    came down from Reno, NV and took my mom back up to Reno to a rehab
    center for 30 days. Ashley and I were left at home by ourselves for
    this period of time and left to fend for ourselves. This was nothing
    new to us as Ashley and I had raised ourselves since we were 11 and
    13 years old, respectively. This was because our mom was constantly
    gone or doing her own thing. My mom came back home 30 days later,
    sober and told us how much she wanted to stop drinking, mainly
    because of her youngest daughter Lenaye. Not 2 weeks later she was
    drinking again with her alcoholic friends, which were of no support
    to her at all.

    My mom than met a guy named Chris.
    She eventually moved in with him and I came along as I was still
    living with her. Ashley had moved in with her boyfriend and his
    family as she and my mom fought too much and couldn’t get along
    because of the drinking. I lived with Chris and my mom for about two
    months before I got a job at a housing community doing maintenance
    work with one of my mom’s ex-boyfriends, Jimmy. Because of this job I
    was able to get my own place for extremely cheap as an employee. I
    jumped at the opportunity as I could not live with my mom anymore.
    I was also working at a restaurant at the same time. So I was working
    two jobs and going to school. That December I was put on seasonal lay
    off from the housing community. I immediately got a job installing
    rain gutters to be able to afford my rent as it increased because I
    was technically not an employee anymore. The scheduling of my new job
    didn’t allow me to continue to go to school for the 3 hours. So I had
    to drop out my senior year with only 3.5 credits left to graduate.

    That following year(2006) my mom
    became extremely sick due to her alcoholism. She had major liver and
    kidney damage. She was put in the hospital due to this and out on
    dialysis treatments because of the extensive damage to her kidneys.
    She complained about these treatments making her want to die because
    they completely drained her body of any nourishment. She was quickly
    put in Hospice Care as treatments were not working. On April 11,
    2006 at roughly 1:00 am I was called by my sister Ashley and told
    that my mom had passed away and that if I wanted to say goodbye to
    come before the coroners got there. She passed away in her bed at
    home in Hospice Care. I showed up and came in the room where she was
    laying in bed lifeless. I was given some time alone to say goodbye.
    I crawled into the bed, held my mom’s hand, looked at her and said my
    goodbyes and that I loved her. Her body was extremely cold and hard.
    This was very hard for me, and still hard for me to even write as I
    wasn’t around much in her final months and didn’t talk to her much at
    all. In her last few months alive I never told her that I loved her.
    This was due to my resentment at the time for her actions and lack
    thereof as a mother. The next few months were extremely difficult
    for me to process. I was given a few days off of work paid. So I
    spent 99% of that time on the Colorado National Monument with my best
    friend Stephanie. This helped me a lot to be in nature and just get
    away.

    The following is a letter that my mom
    wrote to me on September 5, 2005, eight months before she passed
    away. I was given this letter at her memorial service on April 22,
    2006.

    “Dear Zach,

    I’m not sure what to say
    to you because you are a lot like me… very emotional. You may not
    show it but I know. You are a kind, smart and loving person. From the
    moment I gave birth to you, we had a huge bond and connection between
    the two of us! As you grew older, you were less dependent on me and
    that scared me. I know a mom needs to let a child “bloom.”

    Please always know that I
    love you very much! I would do anything for you. But drinking was a
    way out for me, as pot is for you. I guess giving up is a loser way
    out but I feel that I have nothing to give anymore. None of this was
    your fault and I will always be with you in your heart. Be strong
    and never give up!

    Always – Mom”

    I spent the next few years just
    working and trying to get by. I did the gutter work, than worked for
    a Dollar Rent a Car/Thrifty Car Rental Franchise. In late November
    of 2008 I was hospitalized because I had extremely bad abdominal pain
    going on. So bad that I was literally in tears and could hardly move
    out of the fetal position. I went to the E.R. at St. Mary’s Hospital
    in Grand Junction 3 separate times, each time they sent me home with
    antibiotics and pain killers. The fourth emergency room visit
    because of the same excruciating pain they finally put me in a
    hospital bed and admitted me. The doctors had no real diagnosis other
    than a guess that I had a bout of cholangitis again. This was unlike
    any pain I have ever experienced. It is indescribable really. I was
    in the hospital for roughly a week, being pumped with high doses of
    antibiotics and pain killers straight through IV. I was being visited
    by hospital staff that were giving me info on how to apply for
    disability as the doctors would not give me a release to go back to
    work. I needed this release from doctors to go back to work because
    my employer’s required it when missing work for an extended period of
    time, due to insurance reasons.

    So when I was released from the
    hospital I went through all the steps applying for disability. After
    4 months of jumping through hoops for the SSA they sent me to see one
    of their doctors. This appointment lasted a maximum of 15 minutes
    where the doctor had me bend over, he checked my lungs, heart rate,
    pulse, and reflexes. That was the extent of my disability
    examination. This exam says nothing about what’s going on with the
    inside of body. So based on the report from that, the SSA denied my
    disability application. This is absurd because I am disabled and fall
    into the SSA’s category of disabled persons. My mother had me on
    disability when I was a child and then took me off of it at some
    point for some reason that I am unaware of. Because of the copy of
    that doctor’s report, my former employer at Thrifty Car Rental was
    able to put me back at my position.

    In October of 2010 the owners of the
    Thrifty Car Rental I worked at were no longer able to keep the
    business open so we were all laid off. Because I could not find any
    work anywhere I applied for unemployment. I was on this unemployment
    for roughly 1.5 years because I couldn’t find work. My unemployment
    paid me more than a minimum wage job would.

    When my unemployment ran out my Dad
    Kenny had started a little lawn maintenance company and needed an
    extra helper. This was in the summer of 2012. I attempted to work for
    him but I couldn’t do the work anymore. I was getting extremely
    exhausted and sick when I would. I couldn’t get through 3-4 hours
    without being done for the day and not wanting to do anything else.
    Because of this and knowing I wasn’t going to have a steady income I
    contacted my landlords and explained to them the situation and gave
    them a 30-day notice on September 1, 2012. Asking them to use my last
    month’s rent for September and I would eat my security deposit for
    breaking my lease 4 months early. I was sent a copy of their move-out
    procedures with a note at the top that read, “ Since you are still
    under lease, we can not apply your last months rent for September
    2012 rent.” So because I had no income to pay my September rent I
    was served an eviction notice. I then moved in with my grandma
    (Kenny’s mom). After 1 week of me being there my grandma kicked me
    out of her house because I was accused of leaving her front door wide
    open all night long. I locked the door when I came in that night. The
    likely explanation would be that her son (Kenny’s brother) and his
    girlfriend were staying the night there that night as well and were
    drinking. So the person I am currently living with is my sister
    Ashley and my soon to be 5-year old niece because the rest of our
    family will not help me or us out. I have an eviction on my record
    that has a $1,900 bill that is stopping me from being able to be put
    on a lease.

    So I applied for disability again at
    the end of August 2012. I went through all of their hoops again. I
    made an appointment to see liver specialists in Denver. They
    confirmed that I still have biliary atresia and that it is a life
    threatening disease and I could end up in end stage liver disease any
    day and need a liver transplant. This report was sent to the SSA. I
    also acquired a letter from my childhood physician stating that I
    have a debilitating chronic liver disease. This was also sent to the
    SSA. I also acquired copies of all my medical records from Children’s
    Hopsital Colorado, The Univeristy of Colorado Hospital, and some from
    St. Mary’s. These copies of medical records and surgery reports
    amount to about 100-200 pages. Every single page was sent to the SSA.
    The SSA then sent me to a another one of their doctors. When I went
    to this appointment I brought all my medical records and explained to
    him that the last time I was in for this type of exam all they did
    was what I stated earlier. I also explained to him my whole situation
    and what my disease was. Because when he first walked in to see me,
    he admitted to me that he had to look up what biliary atresia was
    because he hadn’t heard of it. I found this to be odd. Because of my
    statements this prompted the doctor to request the SSA order a blood
    sample to go along with the report. The report being a physical exam
    where my flexibility is examined. My lungs, heart rate and blood
    pressure were measured. When my blood work came back along with the
    physical report the SSA denied my application. They denied it because
    at the time of my blood draw, my bilirubin count and liver enzymes
    were within MY normal range. I’m not sure what specific enzyme levels
    are and what “my normal” range is. But “my normal” range of
    bilirubin count is anywhere from 1.5-4 on any given day. The average
    person with a normally functioning liver has a “normal” bilirubin
    count of about 0.5.

    I hired attorneys to assist me in the
    appeals process for disability. They are working on a retainer basis
    where they do not charge me unless they win my case. They feel
    strongly enough that I have a case that they took me on as a client
    and are pursuing my appeal at the time of this was written. I have
    contacted my State Senators and Representatives to assist in
    expediting my case because I was given a letter by the SSA recently
    that my hearing won’t be for 12-14 months.

    I am currently researching the many
    benefits and uses of cannabis. More specifically, the medical uses
    and growing high quality marijuana producing high quality
    concentrated cannabis oil for the treatment of numerous diseases and
    illnesses. I am also trying to start a foundation.
    I want to start a foundation in the name and memory of my mother.
    This foundation’s purpose will be to raise awareness on the benefits
    of medical cannabis and more specifically, Concentrated Cannabis Oil
    for virtually any disease. We will also raise money for medical
    marijuana growing operations to supply patients with medicine at
    little to no charge, and financial assistance for those that are
    devastated by the extreme cost of western medicine. I really want
    this to happen as I believe I, along with the help of others, can
    save many lives and bring a quality of life that is unachievable by
    living in a hospital being given horrible pharmaceuticals. I have
    spent my fair share of time in hospitals and I can say it is not at
    all a comfortable, fun environment. This will take a lot of work but
    I believe I can do this, and it will be well worth it. I am a current
    Colorado Medical Marijuana license holder.

    I have a
    Facebook Page (Zach Branson’s Liver Disease Awareness) where I share
    information on the countless uses of marijuana and to remove
    marijuana from the controlled substances act. Not only as a medicine,
    but for food, fuel, clothing, housing, etc. I also have a fundraising
    website where donations can be made to help make these dreams
    possible.

    My Facebook
    Page URL is:
    https://www.facebook.com/ZachBransonsLiverDiseaseAwareness

    My fundraising
    page URL is: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/3NKRf

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