6-year-old boy returns to school 900 days after starting cancer treatment

ByHaley Yamada and Eric Noll ABCNews logo
Thursday, April 29, 2021
6-year-old returns to school a cancer survivor
After more than 900 days of treatment, 6-year-old Nathan Herber returned to school a cancer survivor.

ROCHESTER, MN -- After spending months in the hospital, it was finally Nathan Herber's first day of school.

Nathan was only 4 years old when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2018. He had to leave his school in Rochester, Minnesota, to undergo aggressive treatment at the nearby Mayo Clinic.

After 900 days of treatment, online school and a tough battle that at one point had Nathan on life support, he is back where he belongs.

On March 25, more than 300 of his fellow students lined the school parking lot to surprise Nathan and wave "hello" on his last day of treatment.

WATCH: California woman, 3-time cancer survivor also beats COVID-19 after lengthy hospitalization

"I'm one of the lucky ones." A 79-year-old Simi Valley woman who survived cancer was welcomed home with a drive-by parade after she beat COVID-19.

Nathan, his twin brother Justin and his big brother Grant, joined "World News Tonight" on Tuesday to recall the special moment. Nathan said he was excited to see some old buddies.

"I'm gonna be happy, because I might be able to see my friends from all the (classes) that I had last time," he said.

Becky Herber, Nathan's mother, said her son's story can resonate with a lot of other students who are waiting to return to in-person classes this year.

"Our hope for everybody returning to school this year is to never give up," she said. "To know that this isn't forever. That there will be an end, and things will be normal again."