A Very Bad Precedent

May 12, 2011

The Ben E. King classic, “Stand By Me,” is playing in my head today, as I think about the shape I’d be in right now if my wonderful husband had not been the rock he has been throughout my adventure with cancer. And mind you, when the cancer diagnosis came, we weren’t even married yet. He could have broken things off and headed for the hills. He didn’t. He could have taken up interest in other, less complicated women. He didn’t. He could have tuned me out to focus on his own grief or anxiety. He didn’t do that, either.

I wish I could say the same for Alaina Giordano. Her husband divorced her after her cancer diagnosis, sued her for custody of their two children, and won. So the children will be shipped off to another state to live with their father this coming June. And all because the judge deemed her one foot in the grave already since she has stage IV breast cancer. I was outraged to hear about this from another cancer survivor who saw the story on the “Today” show this past Wednesday.

I feel this sets a very bad precedent  for mothers with illnesses. With modern medicine being what it is, there is no telling how long this woman may live. She has a wonderful team of doctors at Duke University that have managed to stabilize her cancer’s growth. She could soldier on indefinitely as far as anyone knows. So are judges going to start taking children away from mothers with terminal or critical illnesses? The thought is truly scary to me. I can only offer the following insight:

  1. Children provide inspiration and strength to parents in need.
  2. I know Chemobaby’s impending arrival made me “mentally” fight cancer even more aggressively.

I feel for Alaina, because for the rest of the time she walks this earth, she deserves to enjoy her kids. Whether it’s two weeks, two months or 50 years, she should have that opportunity. I sure hope she gets it and she wins her appeal. You can support her cause on Facebook if you’re interested. Keep fighting, Alaina.



  1. I read about this today and was so upset by this judge’s ruling. I hope the media attention changes the outcome—apparently, the daughter said she wants to stay with her mother—these are not babies, but older kids who should have some say as well! Such a tragedy.

    (and, yes, your husband? a keeper! as are you!)

    • I agree Christina. I hope she wins her appeal.

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