A Florida judge ruled Wednesday that a 3-year-old diagnosed with leukemia must continue chemotherapy treatment against the wishes of his parents.
Noah McAdams, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in April, was ordered by a Hillsborough County judge to complete at least the first phase of prescribed chemotherapy treatment.
His parents, Taylor Bland and Joshua McAdams, had asked the court to allow them to forgo chemotherapy, in favor of alternative treatments, including medicinal cannabis, vitamins, and diet, according to CNN affiliate WFLA.
The judge’s ruling says the parents are free to pursue other alternatives while Noah continues with treatment.
Noah has two more chemotherapy sessions as a part of the first phase of his treatment, which is expected to resume Thursday, according to family attorney Mike Minardi.
He was originally prescribed three phases of chemotherapy treatment. The judge will decide whether Noah must continue with the next two phases of treatment after bone marrow testing is completed. The full chemotherapy treatment plan would last more than three years, Minardi said.
“We’re just happy the child gets to use alternative treatment, at a minimum to combat side effects of chemotherapy and at a maximum help cure the leukemia in his body,” Minardi told CNN.
The next court dates are June 4 and 5.
Parents had lost custody
The ruling also granted Bland and McAdams unsupervised visitation with their son, who was removed from their custody on April 30.
The parents did not bring Noah to the hospital for a scheduled treatment on April 22, and a hospital social worker notified Hillsborough Child Protective Investigations Division, which requested that police perform a welfare check. Noah was located at his grandmother’s house and officers spoke with Bland on the phone.
The Hillsborough Sheriff’s office issued a Missing Endangered Child Alert for Noah on April 29.
The family was found in Kentucky that night and Noah was flown back to Tampa the next day in the custody of child protective services.
Bland and McAdams said that they did not know they weren’t allowed to leave the state. The said they were staying with family in Kentucky and planning to visit a doctor in Cincinnati that week, according to Bland.
The parents had previously informed doctors that they wanted to seek a second opinion and pursue alternatives.
A dependency court judge ruled that Noah would remain in state custody but could live with his maternal grandmother.
CNN reached out to Hillsborough CPS, which is overseen by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Crystal Clark, a spokeswoman, told CNN, “The Child Protective Investigations Division does not and cannot comment on its investigations due to confidentiality per Florida Statute. The case is still active and our Criminal Investigation Division is working with the State Attorney’s Office to determine charges.”
Dissatisfaction with the hospital
Wednesday’s decision also allows Bland and McAdams to complete Noah’s treatment at a different hospital. His parents were dissatisfied with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida, and are looking to move to another oncology program, Minardi said.
The hospital declined to confirm details of the situation to CNN.
“Our first priority at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is always the safety and privacy of patients and families. With that in mind, we strictly enforce HIPAA laws that limit the amount of patient information we may release,” said Danielle Caci, public relations manager for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
CARY, Ill. — Just off the tracks of the train depot in Cary, Illinois is the black awning of JC’s Cafe, a place known by locals for fresh coffee and warm pastries, and its famous homemade soup.
Cafe owner Juan Carlos Beristain makes it fresh every morning, using only seasonal ingredients from the local market. One of the local favorites includes butternut squash, zucchini, parsnips, yellow squash, organic carrots and sweet potato. It’s good stuff, the kind of soup people fall in love with.
“As soon as they try that soup, they get in love with it, and it is a delicious soup,” Beristain said.
Down the road lives Noah Dionesotes, a Cary-Grove man in the thick of multiple rounds of chemotherapy to treat his multiple sclerosis. He also loves the soup at JC’s Cafe, but between his wheelchair and his treatments, usually can’t make the trip.
Then one day, Juan Carlos spotted a random post on neighborhood Facebook group mentioning Noah’s situation, and his love for the cafe’s soup. The next thing Noah knew, there was a knock on his door, and JC was there with a few fresh cups.
“I really feel when other people are in pain,” Juan Carlos said. “I felt that I could help him at least by delivering the soup that he likes, with the nutrition that is going to help him.”
Noah says Juan Carlos not only told him he not need to pay, but also promised to keep bringing the soup.
“He’s like, ‘I only want to see you get better,'” Noah remembers.
Noah didn’t expect to see Juan Carlos again, but then there was another knock on his door.
“The second time he brought it, I was like, ‘he’s not lying,'” Noah said.
Over time, Juan Carlos continued to visit and bring soup, and in the process learned about Noah’s condition, and met his wife and children.
“You have to do these things because you like to do them, and have that connection with people,” Beristain said.
In the three short years JC’s Cafe has been open, customers have become family. Juan Carlos credits lessons learned from his father, who was “always a giver” and offered support, love and help to those around him. Now that his father’s health is failing, Juan Carlos says following his example is a way of honoring him.
“This is part of my way to thank him,” Juan Carlos said. “I couldn’t be any other way.”
For over a year now, Noah has received soup deliveries several times every week.
“I think the guy’s a saint … he’s an amazing human,” Noah said.
Later this summer, Juan Carlos and his family plan to return to their hometown in Mexico, leaving a gaping hole under that black awning in Cary. The town will lose not only a business owner, but also a great friend.
“Every time you help somebody that appreciates what you do, that is your reward,” Juan Carlos said.
Noah is approaching another round of treatments, and hopes to raise enough money through a GoFundMe to pay for stem cell treatment in Mexico.