There’s something special about the fierceness of a woman on a mission. When she’s determined, no force on earth can stop her from accomplishing her goal. But... there’s nothing quite like the fire and fierceness of a woman on a mission for the sake of her child. She will stop at nothing and do everything in her power until her child is comfortable and safe.
Janel Ralph's story began with the burning determination and unrelenting drive to fight for her daughter in a world that told her there were no options, and that there was no hope. Many of life’s most beautiful stories begin this way. At a fork in the road between tragedy and victory… between hope and despair.
The determining factor in this story comes down to one of the most powerful forces on the face of this planet: the power of a mother’s love.
It all began on May 27, 2009 - the day that Janel gave birth to her beautiful daughter, Harmony. Harmony was born with Lissencephaly, a rare genetic condition also known as “smooth brain”. This means the brain is formed without folds or grooves. This condition produces a multitude of life-threatening seizures daily (sometimes even hundreds per day), and is considered untreatable by modern medicine.
For the first five to six years of Harmony’s life, using pharmaceuticals to treat her Lissencephaly was the only option. These pharmaceutical drugs, however, quickly proved to be unreliable in terms of controlling Harmony’s seizures and providing her with consistent relief. Janel knew that the pain and suffering her child was experiencing was about to lead to a paradigm shift in her life’s mission… but looking back, she had no idea just how difficult the journey was about to become. As a passionate wildlife photographer, Janel had never expected to make a career change, let alone a career change to the agriculture and hemp industry. But… she didn’t hesitate for a moment, because she knew it was the only path forward to giving Harmony the quality of life she deserved.
Starting in the hemp business is one thing, but attempting to become a CBD producer circa 2015, prior to the passage of the 2018 farm bill, was another monster entirely. Janel not only had to wear the hats of founder and CEO, but in order to fight for the legalization of the hemp plant for CBD, she had to become a hemp advocate. Conversations with senators and congressmen, local and national government meetings, and speaking engagements became normal in Janel’s day-to-day life. This was just one piece of the battle to fight for Harmony and the thousands of other children experiencing similar suffering. Nevertheless, she persisted, fueled by the love that lit the fire in her heart every morning to get out of bed, keep going, and keep trying.
Fast forward to 2020.
Palmetto Harmony is now the first USDA Certified Organic vertically integrated hemp CBD company in the United States. The hemp that started as a few plants has now turned into an 8-acre hemp farm located in Conway, South Carolina.
In August of 2019, Palmetto Harmony merged with RE Botanicals, and in February 2020, Janel was appointed CEO of both brands. Palmetto Harmony is a family owned and operated business, as Harmony’s father and siblings have come to work for the company.
As for Harmony?
Harmony can now go days without seizures. Her pharmaceutical intake has decreased by 90%, and Palmetto Harmony has helped thousands of other children with crippling conditions similar to Harmony’s.
Neurological physicians have quantitatively map Harmony’s brain through QEEG’s (Quantitative Electroencephalography) and have determined that Harmony’s brain is now able to function in areas that Janel was told would never be possible, due to her disorder. Janel will be the first to tell you that this business and these products have saved Harmony’s life.
Janel continues to revolutionize the hemp space through organic and regenerative growing practices. Her mission to provide CBD to Harmony and other children in similar situations has become ingrained in her in ways she could have never imagined.
No matter the ups and downs, highs and lows, difficulties and trials, Janel will never stop fighting on this journey to help her daughter… a mother’s love truly knows no bounds.
Written by: Janel Ralph, Founder of Palmetto Harmony