Alaina Giordano has stage four breast cancer, but she says her greatest fear isn't dying—it's losing her kids.
A judge calls the 37-year-old mom a "capable, caring and loving mother" but has ruled that she must give up primary custody of her kids to her estranged husband because she has cancer.
"This custody battle is way worse than cancer," said Alaina.
Alaina lives in Durham, North Carolina. Her ex moved to the Chicago area for a new job. Now the kids have to leave the schools and friends they adore, not to mention their devoted mother, to move to Illinois.
The family court papers spell out the shocking decision: "Children who have a parent with cancer need more contact with the non-ill parent," therefore, "the children's primary residence shall be with their father."
If Alaina moves to Chicago, custody would be shared 50-50. But her team of doctors is in North Carolina.
"It's the worst that a parent or a judge could be teaching children, that they should abandon someone because they have an illness," said Alaina.
Alaina's daughter Sophia is just 11 years old and said, "It's a really depressing time for everybody because we want to stay here together."
Her little brother Bud is only five years old.
On a Facebook page called "Alaina Giordano Should Not Lose Her Kids Because She Has Breast Cancer," there are thousands of outraged messages such as:
"This is not right. Cancer takes everything. It should not take your family, too."
Alaina has been ordered to hand over her kids in just five weeks.
"At that point I'll have to put on a strong face for them so that they can make the move with as little trauma as possible, and then I'm going to keep fighting," said Alaina.