SLEEPY EYE, Minn. – X-rays show the tumor in the chest of a 13-year-old boy from rural Minnesota has shrunk significantly after two courses of court-ordered chemotherapy, a family spokesman said.
However, family friend and spokesman Daniel Zwakman said the side effects of the treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma has left Danny Hauser weak and miserable at his farm in Sleepy Eye.
"It affects him worse than most people," Zwakman said on Monday. It's been 11 days since his latest treatment and still "most of his day is spent on the couch."
Danny received a single treatment of chemotherapy in February, but stopped after enduring the harsh side effects. When Brown County authorities attempted to compel the Hauser's to treat the cancer conventionally, Danny and his mother fled the state for about a week in May.
When they returned, a southern Minnesota court ordered them to see an oncologist. Danny is now being treated at Children's Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis.
Zwakman said Danny had treatments on May 28 and June 4. He's expected to receive four more. The next one could be next week, but it hasn't been scheduled.
Zwakman said the teen and his family remain firmly against chemotherapy. "They are very adamant against having the chemo," Zwakman said.
Despite its success at killing cancer cells, 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 Danny's oncologist. The Hausers practice alternative medicine inspired by American Indian traditions.