December 5, 2021

C’ville celebrates 7-year-old boy’s return after treatment for tumor

S.N. Briere/staff reporter

Ivan Roskos, 7, hugs his mom, Rebecca, as his grandma Joan goes to embrace him after his family, including his two sisters and many neighbors, turned out to cheer him on upon his return home to Cortlandville after getting treatment at st. Jude’s hospital for a benign tumor that kept growing back.

Ivan Roskos, 7, was just barely tall enough to be seen waving out of his family’s car Wednesday afternoon at his neighbors lining the street just outside of his Cosmos Hill Road home in Cortlandville.

“Welcome home Ivan,” they cheered while waving signs.

Roskos had been at St. Jude Children’s Hospital getting proton beam treatments for a benign tumor that had grown back. The tumor was discovered in 2019, with a surgical removal in the summer of 2019, said Joan Roskos, Ivan’s grandmother. However, by September it had grown back.

It wasn’t long after the family decided to seek treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. After 30 rounds of treatment over 10 weeks, the tumor was gone and Ivan could come home.

The welcome party he got was a grand one. The Cortlandville fire, water and highway departments along with TLC Emergency Medical Services, state police, county sheriff’s officers, Homer Central School District officials and Homer police and firefighters escorted Ivan to his school to see friends and then home, where he was welcomed back by a dozen neighbors and Santa Claus himself.

Santa even bought Ivan a gift — several rolls of duct tape.

S.N. Briere/staff reporter

Ivan Roskos chats with santa Claus, who gave him seven rolls of duct tape as a present Wednesday afternoon. Ivan’s mother, Rebecca, said her son loves to make items using the tape.

Mom Rebecca said Ivan loves making items out of duct tape, including wallets, purses and folders. She said Ivan wants to make items and sell them so he can give the proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Ivan was delighted to see everyone, waving from his driveway after a warm embrace with all of his family.

“We Facetimed every day, but I haven’t hugged him,” said Joan Roskos before the event, tears in her eyes. She was able to hug and kiss him through her mask as soon as the car was parked.

Having him home and being able to see him just before Christmas was the best gift she could’ve gotten, she said.

Neighbor AnnaMarie Sprague and her family were delighted to see Ivan. She ran to give Ivan a hug.

“He’s just the cutest little boy,” she said. “My husband and I were just saying how we missed seeing him.”

Sprague said Ivan was known for riding his truck around the yard or playing catch with his dad — all things the family said they look forward to doing again.

Rebecca Roskos was awestruck by the support the neighborhood and community has given.

S.N. Briere/staff reporter

Ivan Roskos, 7, waves from the sunroof of his family’s car at the crowd of people gathered Wednesday afternoon as they turned into the driveway of their home. Roskos had a warm welcome back parade from local police, fire, water and highway departments after receiving medical treatment at St. Jude’s Hospital.

“To have a big welcome home, that was great,” she said, noting the community’s support kept Ivan going during some of the harder treatment days.

After saying hello, Ivan raced off to see his two dogs inside the house.

Rebecca Roskos said seeing the dogs and riding his small four-wheeler were two of the top things Ivan wanted to do when he got home.

Greg Roskos said Ivan will have a followup appointment at the hospital in six weeks, followed by one every three months. There is a 90% chance over the next five years Ivan will remain tumor free, followed by 80% chance over eight years. Greg Roskos said Ivan also didn’t have any of the side effects normally seen with the treatment, such as vision problems.

“The hope is it won’t grow back,” Joan Roskos said.