Mom accuses government of 'kidnapping' her son after she halted his chemotherapy treatment

Mary Scott
Nov 24, 2018
06:06 A.M.

A Long Island mom is crying out after she says the government is forcing her son to undergo 40 more months of chemotherapy.


13-year-old Nicholas Gundersen is battling a rare and deadly form of leukemia, and his family has filed an emergency petition to halt his daily chemotherapy treatments. Sadly, this past Monday, a New York judge rejected their request again.

Facebook/Candace LaRiche Gundersen

Facebook/Candace LaRiche Gundersen

According to NBC4, Nicholas told reporters:

“I don't need chemo because I don't have any more cancer in my body. It's difficult because every time I get it, I always feel sick. And I don't want to feel sick if I don't have to feel sick.”

The young man’s cancer is said to be in remission, but his doctors at NYU Winthrop Hospital insist he needs 40 more months of chemotherapy.


A hospital spokesman had previously explained:

"Unless chemotherapy is continued, those [cancer] cells can once again multiply and the results are usually fatal."

Nicholas’ mom, Candace Gundersen, had chosen not to continue with the chemotherapy treatments for her son.

She sought a second opinion from other doctors and was planning to focus on non-toxic alternative therapy for Nicholas, but Suffolk County's Child Protective Services seized custody of the teen.


Their action ultimately made it impossible for Candace to make any decisions about her son's medical care. "It's very disturbing to me that the government has basically kidnapped my child," said Candace.

The Protective Services kept Nicholas at the hospital for at least a week with a unique GPS bracelet to track his movements until a judge approved him moving into the custody of a family friend, where his mother was allowed to live with him.


The Gundersens were at the courthouse on Monday with a couple of supporters wearing "Justice for Nick" t-shirts, but the judge’s ruling was not favorable.

The family’s lawyer, Elliot Schlissel, said: "The judge is not listening to the constitutional rights of these parents.

Meanwhile, Dennis Nowak, a spokesperson for the Suffolk Department of Social Services, maintained:

"Child Protective Services is proceeding in accordance with the Suffolk County Family Court order, and will continue to do so to ensure the child's medical needs are met."


The case hearing has been scheduled for December, and the family is hoping it will be the first step toward regaining control of their son's medical care.

"I believe that in the end justice will be served and that we will be free to take Nicholas and to take care of him properly,” Candace said.


Last month, we also shared the sad story of Gemma Nutall, a heroic mom who died after delaying cancer treatments so she could save her unborn daughter’s life.

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