SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. – TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The decision is in when it comes to a Tampa toddler receiving chemotherapy treatment while he battles leukemia.
A Hillsborough County judge ruled that 3-year-old Noah McAdams must undergo chemo as he continues to fight a recent cancer diagnosis.
The child’s parents were hoping for a more organic approach to treatment, one that includes medical-grade cannabis, vitamins, and a strict diet.
While the judge ruled that alternative treatments are permissible, the primary course of action, she said, must include chemotherapy within the next 28 days.
Noah’s parents called the judge’s decision “disappointing” as they left the courthouse after Wednesday’s ruling.
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“I feel like it’s definitely increased my fight, my strength and ultimately, my forgiveness because having to look at these people who have no regards for my son is difficult,” Taylor Bland-Ball, the toddler’s mother told WFLA.
“It’s dropped, and it’s picking back up, and it’s still pumping blood. I love my son, and I’m going to be there for him,” said Joshua McAdams.
As Noah fights leukemia, his parents have been fighting the system.
The toddler has already received two chemo treatments at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, according to family members. However, when Noah’s mother and father took him out of state last week, seeking a second opinion, they were stopped in Kentucky by law enforcement.
Shortly after, they lost custody of their son.
The parents hired an attorney and took their fight to court, hoping a judge would rule in their favor for a more natural approach to treating their young son’s cancer.
They were pleased the court took time to listen to their concerns, but ultimately, heartbroken, when the ruling was announced Wednesday, after two days of grueling court testimony, that their son must undergo chemotherapy.
“It is a mixed bag, in that we obviously have to watch this child go through chemotherapy, but at least we know with the use of cannabis and other treatments that the child will be able to deal with chemotherapy, rather than not being able to have those alternative treatments available,” their attorney, Michael Minardi, said.
For now, the child’s grandparents have temporary custody, although Noah’s mother and father will be allowed at his medical appointments and treatments.
The parents say they are working to regain custody of their little boy.
They explained that they’re currently working with the Department of Children and Families to arrange unsupervised visits.
With the judge’s ruling today, Noah is scheduled to receive chemotherapy treatment at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in downtown St. Petersburg Thursday, according to his parents and their attorney.