Chemo or Cannabis: Should Tampa toddler with leukemia be forced to take chemo?


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – An emergency hearing has been scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday morning regarding a Hillsborough toddler at the center of a medical custody battle. 

Noah McAdams is currently battling leukemia. 

However, his parents do not want him to undergo traditional chemotherapy treatment.

Instead, they want his cancer treated with a more organic approach, one that includes medical-grade cannabis.

Noah has already received two chemo treatments at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, according to family members.

The child’s parents, Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball are now taking their fight to court, hoping the state will allow them to treat their son’s cancer using homeopathic methods, not chemotherapy.

The family maintains that’s what they were doing when they left Hillsborough County last Monday with their 3-year-old son, sparking a multi-state search. The parents claim they were seeking a second opinion, searching for an alternative to chemo.

The family was eventually found safe in Kentucky.

Authorities put out urgent alerts for Noah, saying the boy was in need of “lifesaving medical care.”

Hillsborough County deputies said the parents failed to bring their son to a medically-necessary hospital procedure last week, then refused to follow up with additional lifesaving medical care. 

“We just want of the therapies less drastic than chemotherapy,” Noah’s mother said. 

The parents have temporarily lost custody of their son and now he’s staying with his grandparents.

“These parents are absolutely not looking to let their kid suffer, they’re going to treat this child,” said Michael Minardi, the attorney representing Noah’s parents.  

The couple tells News Channel 8 they absolutely do not want chemotherapy for their child, insisting that other treatments be considered. 

“I want my son home and for him to be treated with a treatment that is not going to damage his little body so much,” said Noah’s mom. 

The parents want to use medical cannabis, CBD oils, vitamins and a strict diet to treat Noah’s cancer. 

The couple tells us they’re not opposed to treatment, they just want to do it differently.

“We want him to be treated with something that has less side effects,” Noah’s mother said. “Chemotherapy is so brutal on a body.”

On Tuesday after the court hearing , Noah’s mom said her son is stressed out since he is separated from them.

“As of yesterday you can tell that he is severely traumatized by all of this, by being separated from us. He has never been separated from us this long and been restricted to when he can and cannot see his parents,” said Taylor Bland-Ball, mother.

Since no decision was reached on Tuesday, she is hopeful the family still has a chance to get what they want.

“I am really thankful that the judge didn’t make a decision today. That she is allowing more witnesses to come in, that she is allowing more information to be exposed about this treatment, said Bland-Ball.

The hearing resumes at 8 a.m. Wednesday. 

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