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Breitbeck Park Transformed Into ‘Julian’s World’

Julian smile

OSWEGO, NY – Breitbeck Park was alive Sunday afternoon with music, a children’s parade, food and plenty of family-friendly activities.

A couple young girls join several Disney characters in singing "Let It Go" from the movie "Frozen"
A couple young girls join several Disney characters in singing “Let It Go” from the movie “Frozen”

Julian Ross couldn’t go to DisneyWorld — so a cadre of volunteers brought DisneyWorld to Oswego. However, Julian was unable to get to Oswego. His mother, Kristi, shared the event with him via a video chat on her phone.

Julian was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma on August 4, 2011. He was just 6 years old. In early March of this year, he was put on Hospice care.

He has been undergoing some treatments at Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia (CHOP).

“We’re going to be moving into a house in New Jersey; a New Jersey hospice has taken over his care,” his mother told Oswego County Today. “It’s not ideal but he’ll still be in a home setting. They have more resources there, a big children’s hospital.”

Charlotte, left, and Sawyer sit ready to greet people at the Paws Across Oswego County booth. The two canines are part of the Reading for Rescue program.
Charlotte, left, and Sawyer sit ready to greet people at the Paws Across Oswego County booth. The two canines are part of the Reading for Rescue program.

Hundreds of people, young and old, turned out during the six-hour event to support Julian’s battle against cancer.

“Julian wanted to go to DisneyWorld. But he can’t get there right now. So, I had a crazy idea, if he can’t get there, let’s bring DisneyWorld to him – we can turn Breitbeck Park into Julian’s World for the day,” said organizer Ruth Wallace.

“(Kristi) said, ‘do you think you can pull it off?’ I said maybe with a lot of help. In less than a month we came up with the plan and the (event) is fully donated. Everything’s free today. The response has just been overwhelming,” Wallace continued.

A group of Fort Drum soldiers made the long drive to Oswego to honor Julian.

Percussionist Pirate (Larry Rapshaw) demonstrated how music could be made with common items such as pots, pans, glasses and even pieces of wood.
Percussionist Pirate (Larry Rapshaw) demonstrated how music could be made with common items such as pots, pans, glasses and even pieces of wood.

In December 2012, members of Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division, along with State Senator Patty Ritchie, visited Julian at his home in Oswego Town.

They made him an honorary sergeant and presented him with a variety of military equipment, including a uniform, a 10th Mountain Division banner and dog tags. He also received a military camo backpack (that appeared to weigh more than Julian) stuffed full of more 10th Mountain Division memorabilia.

For his trips to the hospital he was presented with a 10th Mountain Division hoodie to keep him warm. “It’s got sergeant stripes on there, so you know it’s yours,” Col. Patrick N. Kaune told him.

Members of the Winter Guard wave their banners as the lead the parade around Breitbeck Park.
Members of the Winter Guard wave their banners as the lead the parade around Breitbeck Park.

On stage Sunday, during the brief opening ceremony, Wallace asked the large crowd if anyone knew why they were there.

“To honor Julian Ross!” an elementary school-aged boy yelled out.

“That’s right,” she said. “Julian’s been busy for four straight years kicking cancer’s butt. And, he’s going to continue to do that for as long as possible.”

A former Oswego resident who works at DisneyWorld now donated some one-of-a-kind Disney memorabilia to Julian.

“He was really looking forward to being here today but couldn’t make it. So I’m using my phone so we can chat and I can show him everything that’s going on. You gotta love technology,” Julian’s mother said. “I want to thank all the volunteers that organized this and everyone that turned out. He’s truly going to love this.”

To learn more about Julian, visit https://www.facebook.com/JuliansJoust

Some youngsters show off their dancing skills on stage Sunday afternoon.
Some youngsters show off their dancing skills on stage Sunday afternoon.

3 Comments

  1. So glad we could donate, wish we could have been there. This was for Julian and we couldn’t be more excited to help and show how much we care.

  2. Too bad Oswego County Hospice couldn’t provide the care Julian needed to COME HOME. Bureaucracy at its finest. Do all Oswego County children with terminal illnesses have to move out of state for care when their illnesses get this far? What a shame…. STAY STRONG JULIAN! PRAYING FOR A MIRACLE!

  3. I agree, they were getting his house ready and he just so wanted to be home. Can’t believe with all the illness in the world that they do not have the trained staff to do that. its very sad to have to go to a different place and out of state to get the care needed when all you want to do is be home.

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