Nearly a year ago, we wrote about the travails of Alaina Giordano, the woman battling Stage 4 breast cancer who lost physical custody of her children due to a judge ruling that her illness made her an unfit parent. Alaina’s ex-husband—Kane Snyder—moved from North Carolina to Chicago to take a job with Sears after graduating business school, and the children were ordered to relocate with him. Although Alaina was unemployed, moving to be closer to her kids was complicated by the fact that she was part of a Duke University clinical trial with a trusted and established medical team—one whom she spent years researching for her cancer care.
Alaina attempted to appeal, but the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled against her and the children left their ill mother to live with their father. Ultimately, she decided to abandon her trial treatment and move to Chicago to be by daughter Sofia and son Bud. Now TIME reports that Alaina has grown sicker and her doctors have advised her to go into hospice care “someplace where she is happy.”
While her family lives in Pennsylvania, Alaina—like any mother—is reluctant to leave her children behind. Although Alaina’s spokesperson says that Alaina has been in contact with her former husband, her sister Lauren wrote a letter to him on Alaina’s public Facebook page:
“This could be our family’s final plea, so please listen with an open heart and mind.
As you know, Alaina does not have much time left. Per her doctors’ recommendation she will soon be leaving the hospital to go into hospice for her final weeks of life. Alaina has fought a brave fight from the beginning, but now the doctors are advising us that she should go home to Pennsylvania to be surrounded by her family. However, Alaina will not leave Chicago without Sofia and Bud. Those children have always been the guiding force in her life and her battle; no one can rip her away from them.”
Alaina’s mother has also been speaking with Kane’s mother and the two grandmothers are hatching a plan for the children to visit during their summer vacation, which starts in five weeks. But Alaina’s doctor has determined that she may only have until June. “There may not be five weeks. You can’t wait a week here or there when time is running out,” said the spokesperson.
Do you feel that the children should go and stay with Alaina during her final weeks of life? Or do you think it would be too traumatizing for the children to watch their mother die?