Boy's Brave Battle Against Brain Cancer at 'the Best Place'


A month later, after regaining some of his strength, Daniel headed home. Waiting for him at the airport was his grandmother and a group of family friends.

"Today is very special. ... We can't believe this day has come," said his grandmother Beverly Centers.

"Words cannot explain how I feel," Daniel said when he got off the plane. "I am so happy and excited."

The journey through this year, through cancer, had been a long one, but four months after his homecoming Daniel was back at school. Although the cancer treatment slowed his ability to process information a little bit, Daniel remains a straight-A student, and every day he is getting stronger.

"It's fun running around again. I've gotten my strength back!" he said. "I don't have the stamina I used to, but I am trying to get my stamina back."

Best of all, almost a year to the day since his ordeal started, on Nov. 4, Daniel turned 13 years old -- that alone was a cause for celebration.

"He wasn't even expected to be here for his 13th birthday, and he's already had his 13th birthday and having his party tonight," said Lisa. "And we're going to have many, many years to come."

That he has turned 13 and is healthy and has not lost his humor or sweetness from all that has happened is a tribute not only to him but to those who cared for him: his family, of course, but also that team at St. Jude that never lost sight of the boy by only seeing the disease.

"I'm not saying that it was lucky, but I was at the best place to be treated and I know that," Daniel said. "I went to the best place and my future will be very good because of that."

Doctors say they will be carefully monitoring Daniel for the next year and a half to make certain the tumor does not return. He will have periodic check ups at St. Jude until age 21.

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