The parents of a 3-year-old Florida boy have lost custody of their son after discontinuing his chemotherapy, Houston’s KTRK-TV reports.
Taylor Bland-Ball is the mother of 3-year-old Noah Ball. She says that her son was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and was placed on chemotherapy. However, the treatment was too rough on the little lad, she says.
“He had vicious mood swings making him violent, making him very emotional. He also started to lose his hair right away after the first treatment.”
In addition to the toll the treatment was taking on their son, the chemotherapy was no longer necessary, say the parents, after tests seemed to indicate that he was cancer-free. The parents left Florida in order to get a second opinion, with a view towards finding a physician who could treat their son through treatments other than chemo.
Specifically, according to Boston’s WHDH-TV, the family had hoped to treat the boy with CBD oil, which, like marijuana, is derived from the cannabis plant. However, unlike THC, the psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant, CBD and its derivatives do not make the user high. Beyond CBD oil, the couple had also hoped to treat the boy’s cancer with “fresh foods and clean alkaline water.”
And thus, when Noah failed to turn up for a scheduled chemotherapy session, the police were called.
The parents were eventually tracked down in Kentucky, and Florida police secured an emergency order that allowed them to remove the boy from the family’s home and placed in the care of his grandparents.
The family’s attorney, Michael Minardi, says Florida officials are out of line.
“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.”
However, Dr. Bijal Shah of the Moffitt Cancer Center’s Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Program says that a single test showing no cancer does not necessarily mean that a patient is cancer-free, nor does it indicate that the patient is out of the woods when it comes to relapse.
“We have no way of saying that he is cured of leukemia this early in therapy. We cannot assume cure because we see remission.”
Shah, who is not directly or indirectly involved in Noah’s care, says that the type of cancer Noah has is cured in about 90 percent of patients, provided they follow their oncologist’s treatment plan and get proper follow-up care. Shah says that there’s an “overwhelming” likelihood of Noah’s cancer returning if he doesn’t complete chemotherapy.