Discovery on Easter led to 3-year-old Henry Daniels' cancer diagnosis

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BIG CATCH: Texans great Owen Daniels and his wife talk about the Easter discovery that led to their 3-year-old's cancer diagnosis (KTRK)

In just about every way, Henry Daniels is like any other almost 3-year-old. He adores his daddy, former Houston Texans player Owen Daniels, loves his little brother, Benjamin, and carries his toy cars everywhere.

But now, he's also in the fight of his young life.

"It's been stressful," said dad Owen. "There hasn't been a lot of sleep, but we feel lucky and blessed."

Henry was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, which is a rare cancer that strikes mainly very young children.

Angela Daniels, Henry's mother, first noticed something wrong with her little boy over Easter weekend. The Daniels boys had just finished an egg hunt in the front yard. That's when Angela, a former prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney's office, noticed half her son's face was flush from running around, while the other side remained pale.

"Honestly, there is something about a mother's intuition, and listening to your gut, never ignore it," said Angela, who immediately began scouring the internet for clues.

PHOTOS: DANIELS FAMILY FACES CANCER DIAGNOSIS HEAD ON


At the time, Owen admits he gave his wife a hard time, pointing out the entire family, including the two boys, were very healthy.

But Angela was right. Henry was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and a tumor was located near his spine. The Daniels family sat down with Eyewitness News in an exclusive interview to bring attention to the rare cancer. For the past month, there has been dozens of tests, several procedures, and last week, Henry completed his first round of chemotherapy treatment.

"It's crazy how you can have someone who seems perfectly healthy, growing, and energetic, and but still have this going on," said Owen.

The family went public with Henry's diagnosis last week. Since then, they have been deluged with support from around the country.

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"Coaches, teammates, staff," said Owen.

The person the family has been leaning on the most, though, is Alita Conoley-Wurzbach. Alita's son, Cashel, was diagnosed with stage-4 neuroblastoma at 20 months old. That was two years ago.

"The more information you have going through this, the better. It's something you can't control," said Alita, who has made herself an expert in the subject over the course of her son's illness. "You're learning about nurses and how the health care system works and all of the sudden it's a world you didn't want to be in and you're in, and it's overwhelming."

Even though the Daniels family is just a month into this fight, they are hopeful because Henry's cancer was caught fairly early. It has not spread to any other parts of his body.

The road ahead is still long, but the Daniels are already looking ahead to a day when Henry will be cancer free.

Owen and Angela say instead of football and law, they are now focused on helping fund pediatric cancer research.

"What other demographic deserves to have the funding, more than children," says Angela.

They hope their story will shine a light on the need for more pediatric cancer funding. Even when Henry beats neuroblastoma, the family says it's committed to helping make a difference.

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healthillnesscancerchildrennflHouston TexansHouston
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