Cancer sucks. There's really no two ways about it. It's a terrible disease that far too many people are forced to endure- and not everyone is successful in defeating it. While all of this is true for adults, it's just as true for children, too. Children who suffer from cancer are always forced to grow up far too fast while treating this potentially deadly disease. Their parents usually try to do whatever it takes to help them- but sadly, that's not always true.
Two parents living in Florida have recently been denied custody of their cancer-ridden four-year-old son. The parents in question- Taylor Bland and Joshua McAdams- received this ruling from Hillsborough County Unified Family Court Judge Thomas Palermo this past Monday. Because of this ruling, four-year-old Noah McAdams will continue to be a dependent of the state while living with maternal grandmother.
This whole ordeal started after Noah's acute lymphoblastic leukemia diagnosis back in April. That's around the time the child was removed from Taylor and Joshua's custody because they refused to treat their son's leukemia with chemotheraphy. The couple skipped their son's chemotheraphy appointment so that he could receive a consultation from "an alternative medicine practitioner" in Cincinnati, Ohio. That led to a successful police search across several states to find the young family.
Taylor and Joshua also requested that Noah be treated for his leukemia with other more natural methods. Such methods include a dietary plan, medical marijuana and vitamins. In the past, the parents told doctors that they were looking into alternative treatments, as well as a second opinion on the matter. The family is reportedly unhappy with the treatment their son was receiving at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in Tampa, Florida. They're even pursuing oncology options over at other hospitals. But as of right now, Noah has been receiving both CBD and THC oil for a month now for his leukemia.
While all of this is pretty solid grounds to remove a child from their parents, that may not be it. When making his decision on the aforementioned ruling, Judge Palermo looked at a domestic violence report between the couple from 2016. According to court documents, Joshua threw a plastic bucket at Taylor, only to hit Noah in the face with it. This resulted in a minor cut on the child, and the charge itself was later dropped after Joshua successfully completed a pre-trial diversion program. Finally, familial testimony called Joshua's mental health into question.
The couple's lawyer, Brooke Elvington, has since come out to say that both Taylor and Joshua are "obviously devastated" at the judge's ruling. Elvington had called the domestic violence report "an isolated incident", and the familial testimony "unfounded". Furthermore, the couple's lawyer also revealed that Judge Palermo ruled that the couple both undergo psychological evaluations. They have 30 days to appeal the judge's decision, and a disposition to talk about the Child Protective Services case plan for family reunification has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 1st, 2019.
In the meantime, Noah will continue living with his maternal grandmother while receiving treatment for his leukemia. Taylor and Joshua can still have supervised visits with their son, and can also attend his medical appointments with him- again, under supervision. It will be interesting to see if the couple will appeal, as well as what comes from the October 1st disposition.