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Judge Says Teen Won't Have to Undergo Chemo Treatment for Now

Virginia Boy Wants to Pursue Alternative Cancer Treatment ACCOMAC, Va., July 25, 2006 — An Eastern Shore teenager with cancer does not have to report to a Norfolk hospital today for treatment. That's the ruling this afternoon by an Accomack County Circuit Court judge, after a lawyer for 16-year-old Starchild Abraham Cherrix appealed an earlier ruling by a juvenile court judge. Judge Glen Tyler said Abraham and his parents will get a new trial in Circuit Court as soon as possible. A trial date was to be set.

The judge also returned full custody of Abraham to his parents. That ruling suspends an order by the juvenile court judge that required Abraham's parents to share custody with the county's Department of Social Services. Abraham's attorney, John Stepanovich said the teenager's appeal is moot if he is forced to undergo treatment. Carl Bundick, an attorney for the social services department, told the judge the department would not object to suspending the juvenile judge's order — provided that a new trial takes place quickly. The state stepped into the case when Abraham refused to undergo more chemotherapy when his Hodgkin's disease became active again earlier this year. He wants to continue pursuing alternative treatments.