1. Hillsborough

Cancer-stricken boy will see his parents more often. But chemo court fight continues.

In April, deputies searched for 3-year-old Noah McAdams, center, who went missing after father Joshua McAdams, 28, left, and mother Taylor Bland-Ball, 22, right, decided to leave the state instead of taking him to his court ordered-cancer treatment. The family was found in Kentucky and now the boy is in the custody of his grandparents, undergoing chemotherapy. The parents recently convinced a judge to let them see their son more often, but the legal fight over how to treat his leukemia continues. [HCSO / Facebook]
Published Jun. 26

TAMPA — The 3-year-old boy caught in a legal battle over his cancer treatment will be able to see his parents more often while he undergoes chemotherapy away from home.

But that's all that was revealed Tuesday about the ongoing legal fight over treating Noah McAdams' leukemia, one that deputies say led the parents to flee to Kentucky with their son.

While the judge granted that motion, the parents are still fighting a court order to treat the 3-year-old with chemotherapy. Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball want to treat their son with medical marijuana and natural remedies, despite experts' warning that chemotherapy is the most effective way to keep their son's cancer from returning.

A medical update on Noah's condition was also given in court. But Hillsborough Circuit Judge Thomas Palermo granted a request to close the proceedings to the public to keep the child's medical information private.

Afterward, the parent's attorney said little about what happened during the one hour, 40 minute hearing.

"The parents are pleased with the outcome," said their attorney, Brooke Elvington.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Judge gives boy in legal fight over cancer treatment to grandparents

They failed to take the boy to his scheduled chemotherapy appointments in April, leading authorities to obtain a court order to take Noah into custody. But the parents were nowhere to be found. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said they fled the state, and later tracked them down to a Kentucky motel room on April 29.

In May, a judge placed Noah in the care of his grandparents and ruled that he must continue his first phase of chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a blood and bone marrow cancer.

According to a recent update on a GoFundMe page maintained by the mother, the parents said they were only allowed two hours of supervised visits a week at medical appointments.

"He is struggling mentally, saying things such as 'you don't love me,' 'I don't like you,' and 'baby dinosaur does not have a mommy and daddy anymore,'" read the latest post.

The case has drawn national attention and a GoFundMe entitled "Medical Freedom for Noah," has raised over $8,000 from over 200 donors in the past month.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Against parents' wishes, judge orders Tampa boy with leukemia to resume chemotherapy

Whether Noah will undergo second and third rounds of chemotherapy is still the subject of a future ruling. The next court date is July 9.

Dr. Bijal D. Shah, head of the acute lymphoblastic leukemia program at Moffitt Cancer Center, has told the Tampa Bay Times that there are no natural remedies that can treat leukemia. The accepted medical treatments have become very effective, he said, and there is a 90 percent cure rate for patients who endure the side effects of 2½ years of chemotherapy.

But, he said, patients who stop chemotherapy early will likely see their cancer return.

Before the hearing, the mother posted this message to Facebook: "Tomorrow is a big day for Noah and us, in the hospital, and in court!!"

Contact Amanda Zhou at Follow @amondozhou.


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