Seven year old checks item off his bucket list

bucket list

Second grader Julian Ross sits in the front seat of his family’s new minivan, donated by Timebuyer owners Bob and Peg Natoli. Julian was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and has since undergone a series of scans, transfusions and chemotherapy treatments. He wished for a van that had automatic doors, sunshades, an air conditioner and a television. To be updated about Julian’s condition, visit www.juliansjoust.com.

by Nicole Reitz

Julian Ross, a second grader in Oswego, likes to play with his brothers as well as his Nintendo DS and he has a fascination with all things military.

He is also fighting stage 4 Neuroblastoma Cancer.

The cancer started in Julian’s adrenal gland and has spread throughout his body. He has been battling cancer since he was diagnosed Aug. 4, 2011.

Since then, Julian has had multiple surgeries, chemotherapy treatments, scans, transfusions, bone marrow aspirations, and a stem cell transplant in May.

The Ross family makes monthly visits to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for rounds of experimental treatment and Julian is often admitted to the hospital.

Julian’s parents, Steve and Kristi, tried to explain to their son what is happening to his body the best they can by using age appropriate language. Since Julian’s dreams of being in the service, his parents told him that his cancer is the “bad army” and that the “good army,” or treatment, will help him beat the war going on inside him.

Thinking of this explanation, Julian expressed that he didn’t want any other kid to get his “bad army.” With the help of his parents, Julian came up with a dozen items on his own personal bucket list, experiences that are important and special to him.

One item in the top five was to have a van with automatic doors, sunshades, air conditioning and a television. The Ross’s family van is old and rusted, without heat and running on 120,000 miles.

Bob Natoli, owner of Timebuyer, was made aware of Julian’s story by his daughter, who read about Julian on Facebook. Natoli read that number four on Julian’s bucket list was a new van and he realized that he could help the Ross’s with that pursuit.

Natoli and his wife, Peg, presented the Ross family with a personal donation of a 2006 Chrysler minivan Monday at Timebuyer in Oswego. The van is valued at about $8,200 and will allow Julian to be more comfortable when traveling back and forth for therapy.

The vehicle is fashioned for a wheelchair, if Julian should ever need one.

“When I heard about the Ross’s plight, my heart went out to them immediately,” said Natoli. “The worst thing in the world has to be having a sick child. We pray for his recovery.”

Natoli also wanted to assist Julian and the family further by helping them get publicity for their own needs and because Julian is interested in helping other’s fight their own battle against cancer.

Steve, Julian’s father, was overwhelmed with Natoli’s kindness and generosity. Not only will the new minivan get better mileage, but also be safer for Julian. The family’s old van didn’t have heat in the back and Julian’s compromised immune system makes him vulnerable to illness.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

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