Runaway Mom Agrees to Son's Chemo Treatment

Judge allows teen to stay with family after mom agrees to boy's chemo treatment.

May 26, 2009 — -- The parents of Daniel Hauser, the Minnesota boy who was on the lam with his mother for nearly a week to avoid court-mandated chemotherapy, told a judge today that they now agree to the medical treatment.

In return, the judge ruled that Daniel, who had been put in county custody when he returned home this weekend, would be returned to his parents.

Brown County Family Services objected to the judge's ruling, saying that they wanted Daniel to stay in the county's custody.

The mother of the teenage boy stricken with Hodgkin's lymphoma said it was the boy's decision to flee the family's Minnesota farm when a judge ordered him back into chemotherapy.

Now back home after nearly a week on the run, Colleen Hauser, who police said has not been charged in her son's disappearance, said 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."

Her comments were filmed by a production company called Asgaard Media, which paid for their chartered flight home. The company said it was hired by the family to film the Hausers' homecoming and interviews.

Daniel Hauser, who spoke very little to the cameras trained on him, said that if he could say something to all the people who have passed judgement on his situation, it would be to "back off."

The Hausers and police have not yet revealed where the two traveled when they disappeared after a court rejected the boy's request to refuse chemotherapy treatment for his Hodgkins lymphoma disease. Doctors said they believe Daniel will die without the treatment.

Irvine, Calif., attorney Jennifer Keller, who was hired by the Hausers shortly before their return to Minnesota, told "Good Morning America" today that Colleen Hauser has said she'll "do her very best" to comply with court ordered treatment for Daniel's Hodgkins lymphoma.

"My understanding is that Colleen is going to continue to press to at least have Danny tried on some alternative therapies," she said.

"That's been her goal all along," Keller said, "to find something that would be effective, but not painful."

Doctors said Daniel has a cancerous tumor growing in his chest that is likely to kill him if he does not receive additional chemotherapy, but his family has 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.

Keller said she didn't know anything about the media company that was brought in by the Hausers to film the homecoming, saying she was only told about that twist when she was trying to arrange for the use of a private plane to get them home.

She said Daniel didn't appear to her to be in any pain when she met him.

"He certainly appeared to be in good health to me," Keller said. "He didn't seem to be in any kind of pain or distress. His breathing wasn't labored."

She confirmed that Daniel's painful reaction to the first round of chemo and his threats to run away encouraged Colleen Hauser to leave with him. But Keller said that she believed it was always Colleen Hauser's intent to come back to Minnesota.

"I don't believe this is someone who ever intended to flee and become a fugitive or make her son a fugitive," she said.

Painful Chemo Behind Decision to Flee?

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

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

But she said she's confident Daniel will beat his cancer, adding that he's already on his way.

"When you're in a position like that, someone has to be strong, you just have to be strong," she said. "And actually the last two days now, the last day and a half he was actually stronger than me."

At a press conference Monday, Brown County, Minn., Sheriff Rich Hoffmann said the arrest warrant issued for Colleen Hauser while she and her son were on the run had been quashed, but he would not discuss whether she might still face any charges.

"They were ready to come home," Hoffmann said, when asked why the mother and son had decided to end their flight. He declined to say where the two had been in the six days they were missing.

The search for the pair had focused on Southern California, where they were reportedly spotted at least once, and Mexico, where it was suspected they might have gone to seek alternative treatments.

Daniel was immediately checked over by medical authorities upon his return, Hoffmann said, but he wouldn't comment on the boy's medical condition.

Did Mom Flee Out of Fear?

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, has said that he believes his wife saw X-rays of Daniel that made her scared and prompted her to flee.

"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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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