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Forced chemotherapy helping boy, friend says

/ Source: The Associated Press

A family friend says X-rays show the tumor in the chest of a 13-year-old Minnesota boy who resisted treatment has shrunk significantly after court-ordered chemotherapy.

However, family friend and spokesman Daniel Zwakman said the side effects of the treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma have made Daniel Hauser weak and miserable.It's been 11 days since Danny's latest treatment and still "most of his day is spent on the couch," Zwakman said.

Danny received a single treatment of chemotherapy in February but stopped after enduring the harsh side effects. The family insisted on alternative medicine inspired by American Indian traditions.

When Brown County authorities attempted to compel the Hausers to treat the cancer conventionally, Danny and his mother fled the state for about a week in May.

When they returned, a court ordered them to see an oncologist. Zwakman said Danny had treatments on May 28 and June 4 and is expected to receive four more.

Zwakman said the teen and his family remain firmly against chemotherapy but are complying with the court order. "They are very adamant against having the chemo," he said.

Chemotherapy commonly causes nausea and vomiting, fatigue, pain and weakness, and anxiety and depression.

Zwakman said Danny's mother has been giving him natural therapies in consultation with the oncologist