It what is truly a heartbreaking story, North Carolina mom Alaina Giordano, 38, finally lost her battle against breast cancer, but thankfully she was allowed to spend her last days with the children that were taken away from her in a custody ruling BECAUSE of her illness. She was given temporary custody after concerned friends filed for an emergency motion when it became clear that she did not have long to live. At least the court had the decency to do that!
Giordano, 38, a freelance writer and editor, spent her final days with her son Bud, 6, and her daughter, Sofia, 11. In April of 2011 the children’s father Kane Snyder was given custody of the kids by Judge Nancy Gordon because Giordano was terminally ill.
The Judge’s contentious ruling saw an outburst of support from friends, family, other cancer survivors and the general public. A Facebook page was setup shortly after the controversial decision was made. It was called “Alaina Giordano Should Not Lose Her Kids Because She Has Breast Cancer” and thousands of people joined it.
Giordano died on June 25th, her family announced her death on the Facebook page on Monday however, waiting until after her funeral due to the public nature of her case.
Giordano was initially diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2007, in 2010 her and husband Snyder separated and he made a successful attempt to gain custody of Bud and Sofia and moved them away from their sick mother in North Carolina to live with him in Chicago.
According to reports from Good Morning America, Judge Gordon made her decision based upon the opinion expressed by psychologist Dr. Helen Brantley, who said “Children want a normal childhood, and it is not normal with an ill parent.”
I’m no child psychologist, but I’m inclined to wonder how normal a childhood is going to be if your mother is dying of breast cancer regardless of whether you live with her or not? I would hazard a guess and say not very bloody normal at all!!
It is quite clear that the judge was put in an incredibly difficult position and though millions will disagree with the choice she made, I can kind of understand why she felt she had to make that choice in order to safeguard those children. I disagree with her choice entirely, but I suppose I can understand it.
What I cannot understand is how Giordano’s ex-husband could behave in this way. If he had stayed in North Carolina, the couple could have shared custody of the children. But no, he moved to Chicago and took his children nearly 800 miles away from their dying mother for a JOB! Snyder tried to justify his move by claiming he had to take the job in Chicago as an executive with Sears Holding, Inc because of high unemployment rates in North Carolina. So you’re telling me, that someone who can get a job at executive level with Sears Holding, Inc, wouldn’t be able to find work in North Carolina??? If I was one of his superiors at Sears, I would have been really inclined just to sack the guy, see how you like them apples! Maybe he wouldn’t have been able to find a job as well paid as the job he had in Chicago, but some things are much more important than money…I find his behavior utterly sickening and indefensible. It is no wonder this case made international headlines!
I think it is near enough impossible for anyone who is not completely morally bankrupt to read about what happened to Giordano and not be entirely enraged and disgusted by her ex-husband’s behavior!
R.I.P Alaina Giordano, you fought a brave battle and did not deserve to be treated this way!
Losing Custody Because She Has Cancer (Via New York Times)