A review hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in the case of a 13-year-old cancer patient who fled from Minnesota with his mother in an attempt to avoid chemotherapy.
Daniel Hauser and his mother, Colleen Hauser, were last seen in their hometown of Sleepy Eye on May 18, one day after a doctor said the boy’s Hodgkin’s lymphoma was worsening. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. As the disease progresses, it compromises a body’s ability to fight infection. Colleen Hauser was planning to take Daniel to Mexico for natural treatment, but decided to return home, a family spokesman said Tuesday. “They were down in California … on the way to Mexico,” Dan Zwakman told CNN’s “American Morning.” “They were seeking an alternate treatment … the natural herbal and such different therapies versus the chemo and radiation they do in America.” Watch spokesman describe family’s emotions » On Monday, the lawyer for the Hausers said the mother will accept whatever course of treatment a court may order. Colleen Hauser is prepared to allow her son Daniel to undergo chemotherapy, defense lawyer Jennifer Keller said. “My understanding is that Colleen intends to abide by whatever orders the court makes and that she wants to put her best case forward for her son to have a chance at alternative treatment,” Keller told CNN.
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Judge John R. Rodenberg of the Brown County District Court issued an arrest warrant for Colleen Hauser when she and her son failed to show up for a court hearing May 19. He said the boy’s “best interests” require he receive conventional medical care The warrant was rescinded after the pair’s return. Zwakman said Daniel was evaluated by a doctor after his arrival. He did not know about the doctor’s findings, he said, but the teen seemed to be in good spirits. “Danny was out with the weed whacker attacking the weeds in the garden,” Zwakman said. The hearing in New Ulm, Minnesota, is planned for 2 or 2:30 p.m. The Hausers returned to their hometown at 3 a.m. Monday aboard a chartered flight paid for by Asgaard Media of Corona, California. The company describes itself on its Web site as “founded and advised by a group of forward-thinking, positive-minded individuals wanting to make a difference.” Attempts to reach the company Tuesday were unsuccessful. Zwakman said the planned trip to Mexico became too overwhelming for the Hausers. “Being on the road and being nowhere, probably the first time being out in their own area, they hit a wall and didn’t know what else to do,” Zwakman said.
In February, the boy’s cancer responded to an initial round of chemotherapy. But the treatment’s side effects concerned the boy’s parents, who decided not to pursue further chemotherapy and solicited other medical opinions. The family opted instead for a holistic medical treatment based on Native American healing practices called Nemenhah. Daniel’s symptoms of persistent cough, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes were diagnosed in January as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Court documents show doctors estimated the boy’s chance of five-year remission with more chemotherapy, and possibly radiation, at 80 to 95 percent.