Tags: cassandra c | chemo | teen | released | cancer-free

Cassandra C, Chemo Teen, Released to Mom Cancer-Free

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 07:03 AM

Cassandra C., the teenager who fought taking chemotherapy last year for Hodgkin's Lymphoma before Connecticut officials took custody of her, returned home Monday cancer-free after months of treatments.

Cassandra Callender, 17, was reunited with her mother, Jackie Fortin, for the first time since January, a month after she left their Hartford home for Connecticut Children's Medical Center for chemo treatment, reported the Hartford Courant.

"I'm so happy to be home," Callender told reporters after arriving back home. "I can't wait to get back to my regular life, my mom, my cat, school, a job. I'm so happy to breathe the fresh air."

"I'm in remission, and I grateful for that, but it was a long five months," the teenager said. "My mom and I had never been apart. Things got really hard. I've tried hard to be strong. Everyone has seen (the Department of Children and Families) side. I'm so happy to be able to talk for myself."

The Department of Children and Families took the unusual step of taking custody of Callender last year and forced her to undergo treatment after initially refusing and making national headlines, reported WTIC-TV.

Fortin continued to fight the state and the case ended up with the Connecticut Supreme Court, which sided with the state in January, saying the teenager's rights weren't violated by forcing her to undergo chemotherapy, reported NBC News.

"As we do for every patient we care for at Connecticut Children's, we wish her the best for a happy and healthy future," said Robert Fraleigh, director of corporate communications for Connecticut Children's Medical Center.

Callender said that while she has had a change of heart about going through chemotherapy, she continued to disagree with how the Department of Children and Families went about taking her from her mother.

"I feel like they took it a little too far," Callender told WTIC-TV. "She's everything I have and five months felt like forever."

The family's attorney, assistant state public defender Joshua Michtom, told the Hartford Courant that the state has withdrawn its temporary-custody petition for Callender.

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Cassandra C., the teenager who fought taking chemotherapy last year for Hodgkin's Lymphoma before Connecticut officials took custody of her, returned home Monday cancer-free after months of treatments.
cassandra c, chemo, teen, released, cancer-free
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2015-03-28
Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 07:03 AM
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