Florida couple fight to regain custody of four-year-old son who was removed from their care because they wanted to treat his leukemia with CBD oil
- Custody trial of four-year-old Noah McAdams began Monday in Tampa, Florida
- Parents Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball seek to resume care of their son
- He was removed from their custody in May after cancer care controversy
- They ended his chemo for lymphoblastic leukemia after just two days
- Sought treatment with CBD oil and medical marijuana instead
The parents of a four-year-old boy with cancer are fighting to regain custody after courts took him away because the couple ended his chemotherapy in favor of treatment with CBD oil and medical pot.
The custody trial of Noah McAdams began on Monday in Tampa, Florida, where the spotlight is on the fitness of parents Joshua McAdams, 27, and Taylor Bland-Ball, 22.
In May, Noah was placed in the custody of his grandmother after McAdams and Bland-Ball cut short his chemotherapy for lymphoblastic leukemia and fled with the boy to Kentucky.
Now, their attorney Brooke Elvington indicated at trial that they may accept conventional medical treatment to regain custody, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The custody trial of Noah McAdams began on Monday in Tampa, Florida, where the spotlight is on the fitness of parents Joshua McAdams, 27, and Taylor Bland-Ball, 22
Noah underwent the first two rounds of chemotherapy at All Children's Hospital in in St. Petersburg before his parents decided to stop the treatment over fears of the side effects
On Monday, McAdams took the stand where state prosecutors grilled him about his prior domestic violence episodes.
McAdams grew testy and combative at times on the witness stand, but admitted to throwing a toy through a window and breaking it.
In another incident in 2016, McAdams was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor domestic battery.
The couple was arguing when the father threw a plastic toy bucket at the Blad-Ball, cutting the face of Noah when he was a baby, the arrest report said.
McAdams spent three days in jail, but the criminal case was dropped the next year.
McAdams took the stand and expressed his remorse about the incident. He said he enrolled in a counseling program because of it.
On Tuesday, Bland-Ball is expected to resume her testimony. Once the trial concludes, the judge has 30 days to issue a ruling.
The family's saga dates back to April 4, when young Noah received a shock diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Taylor Bland-Ball, 22, and Joshua McAdams, 27, lost custody of their son after police say they refused to provide him with the medical treatment he needs and instead fled from Florida to Kentucky
Noah's parents, pictured outside court, were allowed to treat their son with natural remedies in addition to chemotherapy
Noah underwent the first two rounds of chemotherapy at All Children's Hospital in in St. Petersburg before his parents decided to stop the treatment over fears of the side effects.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THC AND CBD
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are both derived from the cannabis plant.
Together, they are part of the cannabinoid group of compounds found in hashish, hash oil, and most strains of marijuana.
THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for the euphoric, ‘high' feeling often associated with marijuana.
THC interacts with CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and brain and creates the sensations of euphoria and anxiety.
CBD does not fit these receptors well, and actually decreases the effects of THC, and is not psychoactive.
CBD is thought to help reduce anxiety and inflammation.
The hospital alerted police when the couple failed to bring Noah in for his next chemotherapy treatment on April 22 and refused to attend a follow up medical appointment.
By the time police received a court order to take Noah into child protective services, McAdams and Bland-Ball had fled out-of-state with their son.
Police put an alert out for Noah and eventually tracked the family down in Georgetown, Kentucky on April 29.
McAdams and Bland-Ball deny they were fleeing Florida and claim they were on their way to consult with a Cincinnati doctor about alternative treatments.
The couple were taken into custody to face child neglect charges.
Noah is currently being cared for by his grandmother while his parents fight to regain custody.
The little boy's parents claimed Noah was cancer free after his first chemotherapy treatments – just 12 days after his initial diagnosis.
At the time, Bland-Ball credited her son's ‘recovery' to vitamins, an alkaline diet and alternative methods of treatment.
The little boy's parents claimed Noah was cancer free after his first chemotherapy treatments – just 12 days after his initial diagnosis. They credited the boy's ‘recovery' to vitamins, an alkaline diet and alternative methods of treatment
Noah is currently being cared for by his grandmother while his parents fight to regain custody
Following the news that Noah had been removed from their custody, Noah's mother again took to Facebook thanking people for their support.
‘We are okay. They are taking Noah. We are on our way back to Florida tonight. Thank you so much for your support. Our hearts our broken and all we want is for our boy to get HEALTHY BIOLOGICALLY SOUND TREATMENT,' she wrote.
‘No neglect here considering his levels are the best they've ever been and still cancer free after two weeks without chemotherapy – shocker! Thank you for standing with us!'
CAN CANNABIS OIL CURE CANCER?
Cannabis oil is currently illegal in the UK
A mother-of-two claimed in February that she has cured her aggressive breast cancer by taking one drop of cannabis oil containing THC every day.
Dee Mani, 44, refused chemotherapy when she was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer – deemed the deadliest form – and instead opted to try the oil, which is illegal in the UK.
Doctors gave her the all-clear just five months after she opted for the oil.
Despite her claims that it has cured her of cancer, there is no proof cannabis, or any of its compounds, can treat cancer in humans as research showing the drug's anti-tumour effects have been in petri dishes and on mice.
Dr Kat Arney, formerly from Cancer Research UK, said that while study findings have been promising, cancer patients should not get their hopes up.
She previously said: ‘We know that cannabinoids can have a range of different effects on cancer cells grown in the lab and animal tumours.
‘But at the moment there isn't good evidence from clinical trials to prove that they can safely and effectively treat cancer in patients.'
Cannabis oil – which is different to CBD oil because it contains THC, the compound that gives users a ‘high' – is illegal under UK laws.
It influences the release and uptake of ‘feel good’ chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.
Billy Caldwell, from Castlederg, Northern Ireland, made headlines last April when he became the first Briton to be prescribed it on the NHS.
He was granted permission to use cannabis oil to treat his epilepsy earlier this year.