Cancer Teen Getting Better, But Angry About Chemo

Daniel Hauser, 13, fled Minnesota last month to avoid chemotherapy.

June 23, 2009 -- Daniel Hauser, the 13-year-old boy with cancer who fled Minnesota last month to avoid chemotherapy, is now responding to treatment and his tumor is shrinking.

Still, he said he is angry that a judge ruled he must continue getting the treatment.

He said the chemotherapy gives him headaches and makes him dizzy, according to The Associated Press. The reason he's gotten better, he said, is the alternative treatments he has tried.

His mother Colleen, who accompanied her son on his week-long run from the law, admitted that something is working but she won't give the credit to chemotherapy, either.

She said it was the boy's decision to flee the family's Minnesota farm last month when a judge ordered him back into chemotherapy.

Hauser has not been charged with disappearing with her son, saying she had no choice but to go with him.

"Danny was going to run away, then what do I have?" Hauser said. "I mean he was going to run, and that just broke my heart. I can't have a kid, one of my children, run away from something they should face head on."

Doctors had told Daniel that the cancerous tumor growing in his chest that is likely to kill him if he did not receive additional chemotherapy, but his family has long said it prefers natural healing methods.

The family is Roman Catholic and believes in the do no harm philosophy of a Missouri-based religious group called the Nemenhah Band,which believes in natural healing.

Hauser said in previous interviews that Daniel's initial round of chemotherapy had horrifying and painful side effects.

"He literally couldn't drink," Colleen Hauser said. "You literally couldn't even see his teeth; it was engulfed in his gums. "

The Hausers were the subject of a nationwide search by FBI and other authorities for over a week before Colleen agreed to go home with her son.

The case became an international manhunt with Interpol being notified and U.S. Marshals being deployed to Mexico from the San Diego Field Office and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico.

According to one source, the marshals and Mexican law enforcement officers were in Tijuana looking for Hauser and her son before their return to Minnesota.

Hauser's husband, Anthony Hauser, who went on television, pleading for them to return home, said that he believes his wife saw X-rays of Daniel that scared her.

"I know you're scared and I feel that you left out of fear, maybe without thinking it all the way through," Hauser said.

Authorities had promised Colleen Hauser in a May 21 press conference that they would not take law enforcement action if she showed "a good faith effort" to come back.

Daniel's court-appointed attorney, Phil Elbert, said Daniel has seen the most recent X-rays of his tumor, which show that the tumor is a white, see-through mass. Previous X-rays had shown a dense, black mass, according to the AP.

Elbert said Daniel will continue chemotherapy if he has to, even though he doesn't want to.

In an affidavit, Colleen Hauser said she seeks the court's forgiveness for fleeing with her son and thanks the judge for allowing Daniel to stay with the family after the two returned from California.

"It is so important to Danny that he be surrounded by his family," the affidavit read.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.