I've been following this very frustrating odyssey of cancer-treatment-avoidance with great interest this week, and, as it seems to do so often, the news makes it way through Los Angeles one way or another.
This time, it was apparently enroute to Mexico, for some form of alternative treatment. I am not sure which thing disallows chemotherapy -- Catholicism or Native American tradition, but Daniel's mother says it's against their beliefs. So, they're in some sort of sect. And, apparently, it's only been against their beliefs since right after Daniel's first course of chemotherapy, which he says was awful.
There are a few stories that say Daniel's parents believe 13-year old Daniel is "a medicine man in the Nemenhah Band and Oklevueha Native American Church of Sanpete, which have a "do no harm" belief and advocate natural healing methods. "
Doctors say he has a 95 percent chance of survival with Chemotherapy and Radiation, and a 5 percent chance of survival without it.
I started seriously reading up on this story yesterday when we heard that Daniel was spotted in Los Angeles on Tuesday, knowing that if authorities in California snared the pair, we may be reporting on it as local breaking news at any time. The most interesting part is this lawyer with whom they have apparently allied themselves with, Susan Daya.
The first thought I had is, that's odd. Bet she doesn't have a license for long, if she's fleeing a court order. Her Linkedin page offered a little insight to her ... she describes herself as a "Transformational-Attorney/Mediator, Visionary Entreprenuer,Center for Dynamic Family Resolution! Producer ConsciousMedia."
Here's an excerpt from her "Summary," in other words, how she describes herself to potential professional contacts:
I have had been an Attorney/Mediator for 17 years. My main focus has been Juvenile/Family/Criminal Law. I have also worked as a Human Resource Director. I am a Pioneer/Visionary Shifting the legal paradigm from an adversarial approach to a Win Win-- ONE-ONE.
I am also actively involved in conscious media working on two projects in Transformational media sector. My role is a producer and putting together the brilliance (talent, gifts and visions). I am blessed to represent amazing conscious musicians and actors.
Presently I am actively promoting and getting the word out about our heart centered approach to law through our Transformational Mediation Practice. The Center for Dynamic Family Resolution is a place where families and business colleagues are empowered to work out issues and stay out of the traditional legal system...
So, kind of homologous to the medicine doctor of lawyers?
(DARN, her Twitter account "Dayalight1" is "protected." I guess it was naive of me to hope for "Just crossing the border now, Rosarito here we come!" tweets, right?)
Our reporters have been in front of her house in Mar Vista, and her boat in Marina del Rey, but there's no sign of her. She was last seen with the Hausers back in Minnesota on Monday, according to this Minnesota Public Radio story:
Authorities suspect Daniel and Colleen Hauser may be with Susan Daya Hamwi and or Billy Joe Best. Daya is a Los Angeles-based lawyer who specializes in juvenile and indigenous rights. She is also a member of Nemenhah, the religious group the family belongs to.
Best is a Hodgkin's survivor from the Boston-area. In 1996, when he was 16, he ran away from home to avoid getting chemotherapy for his Hodgkin's lymphoma. He only returned home after his parents and the state of Massachusetts agreed to let Best treat his Hodgkin's with alternative medicine exclusively. He is now cancer-free.
The family's doctor, James Joyce, testified by telephone that he examined Daniel on Monday, and that an X-ray showed his tumor had grown to the size it was when he was first diagnosed.
"He had basically gotten back all the trouble he had in January," the doctor said.
Joyce testified that he offered to make appointments for Daniel with oncologists, but the Hausers declined, then left in a rush with Daya.
"Under Susan Daya's urging, they indicated they had other places to go," Joyce said.
Interesting that Daya is a member of this same sect, according to that story. Also according to that story, the sect's Grand Poobah (not really, I made that up ... but he's the guy in charge) is not behind this chemo-voidery: (another made up word)
The founder of Nemenhah, Philip Cloudpiler Landis, said it was a bad idea for Colleen Hauser to flee with her son. "You don't solve anything by disregarding the order of the judge," Landis said.
I also think Dr. Michael Kessler puts it really well in this Washington Post Editorial, "Saving Daniel Hauser:"
"With a child like Daniel, particularly with the kind of highly treatable disease he has, it is not a parent's place to martyr their own children."