25 millionth Portland Tram rider is a 3-year-old fighting terminal brain tumor

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 9:53 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The 25 millionth rider of the Portland Aerial Tram has an extraordinary story beyond now being a part of Portland’s history forever. He’s a three-year-old boy fighting a rare terminal illness.

Ozzy’s family said they’re in town for his treatments for a rare brain tumor, and said the tram is a must whenever they’re in the area. One of Ozzy Brown’s favorite things to do is ride what he calls “the spaceship.”

“When we go up there, he gets excited because the spaceship is going to take off,” Chyla Brown, Ozzy’s mom, said.

You may know it as the Portland Aerial Tram.

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And on Tuesday, Ozzy and his family were the 25 millionth riders on that special trip.

“It felt like the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory golden ticket type of thing. And it set Ozzy’s day up because he was going into radiation,” Chyla said.

Ozzy was in town for ongoing treatments at OHSU.

“Ozzy was diagnosed with a brain tumor called DIPG,” John Brown, Ozzy’s dad, said. “It’s a disease that’s not like a normal tumor. It’s spread out in between cells, so the only option we have is radiation and clinical trials.”

John said it’s a rare and terminal disease.

“It’s about 300 kids a year get diagnosed with DIPG, just in the United States,” John and Chyla said.

Ozzy’s parents are sharing their story in hopes of bringing more awareness to DIPG. They said after showing some strange signs, Ozzy was diagnosed last March, just a couple of months before his third birthday.

“They say go home and make memories is a very, very isolating feeling,” John said. “Majority of them, don’t make it past that three-to-eight-month window of the initial diagnosis.”

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As of today, Ozzy’s been fighting for about a year, so he’s already beating the odds.

“To watch his mobility and all those things kind of go away. And his eyesight get affected, it hurts,” Chyla said.

And after his new milestone this week, there’s no doubt, Ozzy is a true champion.

“It set it up with a smile on his face and we felt like winners,” Chyla said.

If you would like to help Ozzy on his journey or help spread awareness, check out this GoFundMe and the Fight Like OZZY Facebook page.