A mother in North Carolina has been denied primary custody of her children at least in part because she has cancer.
Her name is Alaina Giordano, and what started as breast cancer has metastasized to her bones. She goes to Duke University for monthly treatments and the team there has managed to stabilize the disease. Giordano thinks she wouldn't be where she is today without them. So moving isn't an option.
But her ex-husband is moving to Chicago and he wants to take the kids with him.
“It makes no sense to take them away from me because you don't know how long I'm going to live,” Giordano says. “Everybody dies and none of us knows when. Some of us have a diagnosis of cancer, or diabetes, or asthma. This is a particularly dangerous ruling to base a custody case on a diagnosis.”
Judge Nancy Gordon disagrees. She cited forensic psychologist Dr. Helen Brantley in her ruling saying, “The more contact [the children] have with the non-ill parent, the better they do. They divide their world into the cancer world and a free of cancer world. Children want a normal childhood, and it is not normal with an ill parent.”
There's a Facebook page in support of Giordano that has more than 15,000 “likes” as of this morning. Giordano and her supporters are hoping the decision will be overturned.