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Florida parents denied custody of 4-year-old son during battle over cancer treatment

2019-09-10

A 4-year-old Florida boy with leukemia will remain in the custody of his grandmother after his parents refused to get him chemotherapy, a judge ruled Monday.

Noah McAdams made national headlines in late April when his parents, Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball, skipped one of the then 3-year-old’s chemotherapy treatments at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert for Noah at the time, saying he had a “life-threatening” medical condition that needed immediate attention.

McAdams and Bland-Ball were taken into custody in Kentucky, where they said they were seeking alternative remedies for Noah’s cancer.

Noah resumed his chemotherapy on May 10.

“Noah McAdams is at substantial risk of imminent death by his parents," Judge Thomas Palermo said in his final ruling, according to WFLA.

He also insisted that there was "absolutely no evidence presented at the dependency trial that any alternative therapy offered any actual effective treatment for Noah McAdams’ cancer.”

Palermo said he didn’t believe that McAdams and Bland-Ball would continue Noah’s treatment if he was in their custody.