In a recent post, we discussed a child custody battle between an Illinois father and a mother who has been battling stage four breast cancer. A judge awarded custody of their two children, ages 11 and five years old, to the father who lives in the Chicago area. However, this week the mother, who lives in North Carolina, decided to appeal the child custody award, along with the help of more than 19,000 people she has never met.
The case gained notoriety when the outcome of the child custody award made national headlines and resulted in a public outcry. With the help of a Facebook page pleading for help to appeal the child custody decision, literally thousands of strangers have come to her aid financially. The strangers have donated more than $7,000 for her medical and legal expenses and are committed to helping her continue her legal battle for the physical custody of her children.
The mother says she is confident that as the children’s primary caregiver she will win the appeal allowing the children to remain in their family home in North Carolina.
However, in support of the original child custody award that is now being appealed, it appears that the mother’s terminal illness was only one factor, among many, which resulted in the granting of custody to the father.
Apparently, there are allegations of a history of domestic abuse, infidelity and bad parenting. In addition, according to court records the mother does not work or otherwise have any source of income. All of these factors will be considered when a court makes a decision as to what is in the best interests of the two children.
The mother in this dispute has certainly gained favor with the public opinion. Whether the mother wins the appeal in court remains to be seen. For now, the children are slated to depart from her home on June 17th according to the judge’s orders.
Source: abc11.com, “Strangers helping mother battling cancer,” 25 May 2011