Teen who tried to refuse chemotherapy wants to finish treatment at home

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HARTFORD, Conn. — A 17-year-old Windsor Locks girl, who was forced to get chemo therapy against her will, faced a judge on Monday via teleconference to see if she will be able to come home to finish the end of her treatments.

The hearing started on Monday morning for Cassandra C., who made national headlines after fighting to refuse treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma because she didn’t want to poison her body.

Cassandra is fighting her current caretaker, the Department Of Children and Families, to allow her to return home. That’s where she wants to finish her chemotherapy treatments.

Cassandra still remains at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Her Hodgkin’s lymphoma has been in remission since last year. She said she will be starting her fifth of six total treatments on Tuesday.

The teen and her mother refused the chemo, believing alternative treatments could be equally successful.

On Monday, the juvenile court system allowed her to speak on her own behalf, right from her hospital room, and for almost an hour she did just that.

The teen and her lawyers asked the court to lift a temporary order giving the Department of Children and Families’ custody over the teen. She just wants to be with her mom.

“No amount of food and gifts could replace my mom. My mom is my whole world and being apart from her hurts me on a whole new level,” Cassandra said in a text message to Eyewitness News. “Yes, DCF, and a few friends and families can visit me, but it’s not every day. I watch kids here with their parents and friends and family by their side every day, and that’s what I miss and that’s what I need.”

Without the chemo treatment, doctors and DCF have stated previously that Cassandra could have died.

Cassandra will turn 18 in September, making her legally an adult who can decide her medical treatment on her own.

Jackie Fortin, who is Cassandra’s mom, entered the courtroom around 11 a.m. She had no comment for the media.

The media was not allowed in juvenile court today, but Eyewitness News is outside the hearing and will have an update starting at 5 p.m.