Update 30 years later: Oshkosh artist defies odds

30 years ago, a young boy with brittle bone disease went to school


OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) — Action 2 News first introduced viewers to Jon Wos in 1986, when he was in kindergarten. A wheelchair ramp was installed at his elementary school for a young student born with Osteogenisis Imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease.

“It’s a bone disorder that causes my bones to be weak among other symptoms and stuff,” Wos said.

That shaped what he could and could not do as a child and made going to school hard to do before the school installed the ramp.

“I was kind of bound to my wheelchair at least, but I had to be careful what I did even then because I could break easily,” Wos said.

“I always loved to do the art. I’m not sure if it was because I needed something do other than just watch TV and play games.”

Soon his drawings turned into oil painting, then glasswork.

“I think oil painting is my favorite because it’s the most challenging and I can reach a level of realism that I really like,” said Wos.

Wos has won prestigious art competitions. Some of his work is displayed around the country.

“A lot of people just say it’s really inspiring,” Wos said.

“I am so amazed and proud that I can’t believe it,” said his father, Steve Wos.

When Action 2 News first spoke to Jon Wos in 1986, viewers were told about his struggles with his bones. Over time, they grew stronger. Wos hasn’t fractured a bone in more than 10 years but his disease still impacts his life.

“My teeth break because they’re part of the disability with the bone thing,” Jon Wos said.

“They keep chipping and breaking like brittle bones,” said Steve Wos.

Health care costs are expensive, as is transportation.

“The ramp doesn’t work the greatest so I have to pull my wheelchair in manually,” Jon Wos said.

Jon now hopes to raise some of those funds through selling or trading his art and through a GoFundMe account.



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