kids

Joshua and Taylor lost custody of their son after stopping chemo. Now, they want him back.

Early last month, three-year-old Noah McAdams was diagnosed with cancer. The little boy from Florida was found to have acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and he began chemotherapy. But before long, his parents, Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball, decided he’d had enough.

“He had vicious mood swings making him violent, making him very emotional,” Bland-Ball told news station KTRK. “He also started to lose his hair right away after the first treatment.”

Noah was due for another chemotherapy session at John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in mid-April. But his parents didn’t bring him along. They took their son to Kentucky, to try alternative treatments.

“We busted on out of that hospital – with no cancer cells left to spare,” Bland-Ball wrote in a Facebook post. “Doctors are amazed at his speedy healing and strength!”

She went on to detail the remedies she was using on Noah, including rosemary, a “completely alkaline diet”, collagen, “daily colloidal silver”, grapefruit peel and breastmilk.

“We will continue to use these remedies for maintenance for the next ten years!” she added.

The hospital took action. Child protective investigators got a court order to take Noah into custody. His picture appeared on the news, and within hours, the family was found in a Kentucky motel. Noah was taken from his parents. Local authorities began investigating McAdams and Bland-Ball for neglect. But the couple fought back.

“Our kid should not be away from us and we are not neglecting our kid,” Bland-Ball said on Facebook. “The media made it look like we were neglectful criminals.”

The couple’s lawyer, Michael Minardi, said they were planning to treat Noah with medical cannabis. He explained why they hadn’t turned up for the chemotherapy scheduled by the hospital.

joshua mcadams taylor mcadams
Joshua McAdams and Taylor McAdams with their son Noah. Image: Facebook.
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"They're saying that this child is in immediate danger when the fact that there is... no cancer showing in his blood and there is no indication that at any point in time... that any cancer is going to come back in his body," Minardi told media.

Noah is now in the care of his grandparents. A custody hearing is currently taking place.

"You should have seen this little boy yesterday," Bland-Ball posted on Facebook. "Absolutely traumatised by medical professionals and the separation from his parents. And where is the state to provide him with mental health care to make sure he’s okay? THIS IS TORTURE. ALL BECAUSE WE CHOOSE TO TREAT HIM DIFFERENTLY AND IT WAS WORKING AND JOHN HOPKINS' EGO IS BRUISED."

However, the head of the Moffitt Cancer Centre's acute lymphoblastic leukaemia program, Dr Bijal Shah, says there’s no way of saying Noah is cured of leukaemia at this early stage in treatment.

Dr Shah says for patients with a standard risk who follow the treatment plan, there’s a cure rate of 90 per cent. That plan involves continuing chemotherapy for two and a half years.

"The overwhelming likelihood is that without further therapy this child will relapse," he said.

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