PASADENA, MD — Nobody is invincible, not even Nicholas Patrick. Years ago, the Anne Arundel County resident felt discomfort below the belt and decided to get it checked out.

Patrick thought it would be a quick fix, nothing that an antibiotic couldn’t solve. He was wrong.

“When you’re 27 years old, you don’t expect somebody to say the word ‘Cancer’ to you,” Patrick said. “It was a terrifying experience.”

Through that horror, Patrick found a drug that changed his world: CBD. The cannabis-derivative relaxes its users without giving them a high.

The compound helped Patrick claw through chemotherapy and eventually open Pasadena’s newest CBD shop. Before Patrick, now 35, became a multi-store business owner, he had to fight through the pain.

Patrick was diagnosed with stage 2 testicular cancer in July of 2012. The disease knocked him into a scary place. He lived with his mother, had a 5-year-old son

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FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD KIYOKO opens her eyes and finds herself lying on the floor, gazing up where the ceiling used to be. Sunlight weaves through broken boards and twisted metal, and she has no idea how long she has been unconscious. Her dark blue uniform is torn, and her feet are bare. A heavy beam lies across her body. She is trapped.

Around her, voices cry out — for mothers, fathers, someone to help. Kiyoko has cuts on her forehead and her left elbow, but nothing is broken. She pushes away as much debris as she can. Then, twisting her body back and forth, Kiyoko tries to work her way free of the massive weight on top of her. She wants to help the people who are screaming. 

The Backstory: My dad, my neighbor (a 90-year-old Hiroshima survivor) and the atomic bomb

Aug. 6, 1945, had begun as a typical day for

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