A Florida couple will not regain custody of their 3-year-old son battling leukemia. A judge in Hillsborough County Florida placed the boy with his grandparents. The ruling is a blow to the parents who are fighting the state to treat their son’s leukemia with alternative medicine rather than chemotherapy.
During an emotional hearing with the court, Taylor Bland-Ball and Joshua McAdams shared their reasons for refusing treatment. The Tampa Bay Tribune reported that McAdams said the hospital staff were unprofessional, rude, and fed their son terrible food.
“The hospital’s governing body was disorganized and the doctors were not pleasant or professional to us. It seemed like doctors were disappearing on us and just passing down Noah’s information second hand
There was intimidation from social workers who looked at me like I was not interested in my son’s health because I didn’t want to give my son chocolate milk, or pudding, or ice cream. I care for my son, and it’s very important that we watch what he eats.”
During Bland-Ball’s testimony, she denied the couple fled to Kentucky without informing the hospital. She said they contacted the hospital multiple times about their son’s treatment. Additionally, she said she notified the hospital her son would not be attending any more appointments for chemotherapy.
After sharing the news with the hospital, she said the family left for Ohio to seek a second opinion. The couple would not disclose the name of the provider they planned to see out of state. However, they said they were treating their son’s leukemia with CBD oil, alkaline water, and fresh fruit.
Dr. Bijal D. Shah, head of the Moffitt Cancer Center’s acute lymphoblastic leukemia program told the Tampa Bay Times this week that alternative treatments do nothing for leukemia. In fact, he said the treatment for ALL is so effective that 90% of children diagnosed with the disease fully recover.
During the hearing, a social worker for child protective services said she left phone messages and Facebook message for the parents to notify them that they were under investigation. However, the parents denied receiving any messages from the worker.
The couple’s attorney told the court he had found a doctor willing to treat the child. He said the doctor could effectively treat cancer without chemotherapy. When attorney Michael Minardi spoke with the media, he noted that CBD and medical cannabis could “effectively cure” cancer according to studies from Israel.
Despite his claims, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) states that there is no evidence that CBD or THC can kill cancer cells. There is evidence the drug can improve appetite and decrease pain.
The NCI said there are no studies found in the National Institute of Health’s database that indicate that cannabis or cannabinoids can kill cancer. Interestingly, the organization only references small unpublished studies for cancer’s that cause tumors. There is no scientific data for blood and bone cancers like leukemia.
Additionally, NCI says the FDA does not approve CBD or marijuana for the treatment of cancer.
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Cannabis or cannabinoids for use as a cancer treatment.
Cannabis is not approved by the FDA for the treatment of any cancer-related symptom or side effect of cancer therapy.
Two cannabinoids (dronabinol and nabilone) are approved by the FDA for the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy in patients who have not responded to antiemetic therapy.”
Despite the mounting evidence that CBD does nothing, the couple’s attorney is positive that his doctor will convince the doctor to allow alternative treatments.
When the case concluded, the judge denied the couple’s request to return their son to them. Instead, she placed the boy with his maternal grandparents. The couple will have supervised visitation with their son. She will schedule a hearing next week to order the medical treatment for Noah.
Generally, the court will not order medical treatment that is not backed by evidence. In another case in New York, a judge denied Candace Gundersen’s request to use a Florida doctor to treat her son’s leukemia. After months of fighting in the New York court, Gundersen lost custody of her son.
Interestingly, the doctor that Gundersen wanted to use is the same practitioner that Taylor Bland-Ball and Joshua McAdams plan to use for Noah. The doctor is not an oncologist and uses unregulated therapies to “cure” cancer.
After the ruling, Bland-Ball told the media she planned to fight for Noah. She admitted she was not happy with the verdict. However, she seemed pleased the court would allow her supervised visitation with the son.
Later in the day, Bland-Ball updated her Facebook to announce the verdict. She shared that they planned to see the doctor within the next few days. The mother seems hopeful that the doctor will convince the judge to transfer Noah’s care to him.
For now, Noah’s life hangs in the balance as the parent’s waste precious time fighting to treat his leukemia with worthless treatments. Hopefully, the judge will rule that chemotherapy must begin. Noah’s next chemotherapy is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
Merchandise available at Teespring.
Buy Katie Joy a cup of Coffee.
Individuals wishing to help Katie with her expenses can become patrons. Patrons gain exclusive access to stories, new projects, and future books.