Ever since comedian danny thomas opened the st. Jude children's research hospital 50 years ago, the hospital has significantly advanced children's survival rates from cancer. Not only that, it's all... See More
Ever since comedian danny thomas opened the st. Jude children's research hospital 50 years ago, the hospital has significantly advanced children's survival rates from cancer. Not only that, it's all free. No family has ever been sent a bill by st. Jude. How do they do it? Well, the entertainer's daughter, actress marlo thomas, spearheads the hospital's massive fund-raising. 776 million raised last year alone. For daniel biljanoski, like thousands of other kids turned down at hospital after hospital, st. Jude is the last hope. After seven months of treatment daniel is finally headed home. You're home. Reporter: His grandmother and family friends are there to greet him. Zblifrt -- can't believe this day has come. Words can't describe how i feel. I'm so happy and excited. Reporter: The journey through this year, through cancer, has been a long one. ♪ For he's a jolly good fellow ♪ ♪ that nobody can deny ♪ he arrives home in time to surprise his little brother on his birthday. A sort of rebirth for him as well. Hi, nicolai. Reporter: That day daniel was all the present nicolai needed. He came in with a bow on. I was like am I dreaming? Reporter: But is it happiness you can count on in it is now almost a year since daniel was diagnosed with brain cancer. The leaves are falling. The pumpkins are out. And daniel is back in school. What did you get on that science class? 102. Seriously? Yeah, I got like an 88. Reporter: Though tests show the cancer treatment has slowed his ability to process information a little bit -- can anyone come up and draw this on the board for us? Reporter: -- Daniel remains a straight a sfutudent. The number two I got into the ninth. Nicolai, you show-off. Reporter: And every day he's getting stronger. I don't have the stamina i used to but I'm trying to get my stamina back to where I used to have it. Daniel, there are people at the door for you. Reporter: Best of all, on NOVEMBER 4th, DANIEL TURNS 13 Years old. Daniel, happy birthday. I'm so glad you're okay and home safely and healthy. Reporter: That alone was a cause for celebration. He wasn't expected to be here for his 13th birthday. ♪ Happy birthday to you ♪ ♪ cha cha cha ♪ Reporter: But what the long-term future had in sight for him was unclear. When we parted ways in 2008, i confessed I was worried about him. But to rally his spirits i blurted out that I expected an invitation to his high school graduation, promising I would be there. We said our good-byes. This summer, more than 5 1/2 years later, we received a surprising phone call. Not only is daniel alive and well, but it was time to make good on that promise. He was poised to graduate. Oh! I can't believe it! Look at you. You're all grown up. Almost there. But I'm still growing. Reporter: Now 17, going on 18, he invited us back to auburn because he told us he wants to give other kids hope. I can't forget about it because it's always there. And I've learned so much from it. It's amazing. It makes me cry to see you. Thank you so much. Reporter: He's blossomed into a mature and active teen. I love driving so much. I really do. Well, it is independence, isn't it? Reporter: Plays on the varsity doubles tennis team. And while he goes back to st. Jude every six months for checkups, he says every day he feels great. Nice serve. It's unbelievable. He's playing tennis with me first doubles on varsity. It's insane. Reporter: Despite in cognitive delays from his surgery, he is a top honors student, the recipient of over seven scholarships and awards. You graduated with a really high average, something in the 90s, RIGHT? Yes. Do you ever think about those days back at st. Jude when you were so sick? Quite often. Because those are the days that I -- you can't ever forget about treatments because they make you who you are. Reporter: Indeed they do. Look at you. Reporter: Daniel wants to become a doctor and has been accepted to siena college. And through a special program, med school too. He says he wants to give back what he received. Are you ready, guys? Yes. Thank you. That's a happy picture. Reporter: And this extraordinary day. We are filled with excitement and hope for all of you on this day. Reporter: Once a sick child's dream, now a young man's reality. Live life to the fullest. Reporter: When we first met daniel almost six years ago, we were deeply concerned that his story would be too sad to air on television. But he surprised us all. Daniel biljanoski. Reporter: A testament to his spirit, his family -- just enjoy every day. Embrace it. Reporter: And the staff at st. Jude's. Got my diploma. Reporter: Who never lost sight of the person by only seeing the disease. What a great young man. Well, as of his last visit to st. Jude, daniel is now officially cancer-free. Off to college this week, we know he has a big fan club of doctors and nurses from st. Jude cheering him on.
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