Ill mother plans custody appeal

FROM STAFF REPORTSMay 25, 2011 

— The cancer-stricken mother who took her custody case to the global court of public opinion after a district court judge ruled against her plans to appeal the ruling.

A Greensboro lawyer working with Alaina Giordano, the aggrieved mother with stage 4 breast cancer, filed notice in Durham District Court of their plans.

Since Nancy Gordon, a Durham District Court judge, awarded primary custody of Giordano's 11-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son to her estranged husband, the mother has rallied thousands to her side with a Facebook page, online petitions and a blog.

In a public appeal, she complained that a judge had ripped two children away from their mother because of her terminal cancer diagnosis.

But the custody ruling, issued after a four-day hearing, was more complex than one diagnosis. The case is a bitter divorce with allegations of cheating, abuse and bad parenting.

The children's father, Kane Snyder, lives outside Chicago and works for Sears. He is to assume primary custody June 17, according to the judge's order.

Clint Morse, the Greensboro lawyer whose name is on the notice for appeal, referred comment on the case to Jordan Bressler, president of LeapFrog marketing and design, a public relations company in Greensboro.

He issued a statement from Giordano, who said she hopes to reverse the order, which refers in part to her failing health. The judge also considered a forensic psychological evaluation of the family in making her ruling.

"It is absolutely outrageous - and unprecedented - that a court would cite my illness as the reason to take my children from me, and uproot them from their home," Giordano said in the statement.

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