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