Boy who fled chemo returns, faces custody hearing today


Daniel Hauser, the 13-year-old who fled Minnesota with his mother after a court ordered him to undergo chemotherapy against the family's beliefs, has returned voluntarily to the state and will face a custody hearing today.

Daniel and his mother Colleen were gone for a week and turned themselves in to authorities in Southern California. He was reunited with his dad and seven siblings in Sleepy Eye. He was accompanied by Brown County child protection workers and his parents to an evaluation at a Twin Cities hospital.

The court hearing that will likely be held today will go over Daniel's custody during his cancer treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The story went nationwide last week when Daniel and his mother fled and were thought to be heading for Mexico for alternative treatment for the teen's treatment. The case started when the family stopped chemotherapy claiming it was against their religious beliefs. Doctors say he has at least a 90 percent chance of survival if he undergoes chemotherapy, but just 5 percent if he doesn't.

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In an extraordinary twist to the story, Colleen and Daniel's return was videotaped by a California film company, Asgaard Media, which arranged their charter flight back to Minnesota and made the video of their account available to authorities.

Asgaard, whose principals are connected to the California alternative-health community, arranged Daniel's return through a California attorney named Jennifer Keller. The FBI and sheriff were kept posted on the arrangements. Keller said Colleen was worried about being arrested, so the private plane returned to New Ulm at 3 a.m.

In the video, Colleen Hauser said Daniel was going to run away from home last winter if forced to undergo more chemotherapy. He had one round of chemotherapy in February before his case mushroomed into a national story.

"Danny was going to run away," Colleen Hauser said on the video. "Then what do I have? That just broke my heart."

Watch clips from the video here.