Minn. teen fights cancer in costume

Jonah Skrove as Slappy the Clown

MINNEAPOLIS - Jonah Skrove is a bit of a character.

The Zimmerman High School junior says his favorite childhood memories are of acting in plays.

"I actually got a part with lines," said Jonah. "I was Starkey from Peter Pan. He's one of the pirates."

But last fall, Jonah was cast in a story no one would have scripted. On a family trip to Duluth in September, Jonah thought he'd sprained his ankle, but the pain was instead a sign of bone cancer.

He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form so aggressive that doctors took his right leg just three months later.

Jonah is on week No. 28 of chemotherapy, but he is also on week No. 28 of costumes, coming each time to chemo in character.

"I've been Slappy the Clown. I've been Batman," Jonah said. "I've always liked dressing up, doing weird things, and I typically go all out."

All out, from Cousin It to Uncle Fester to Rambo, the disguises mask the reason for his visits, but underneath he is truly putting on a brave face.

"They're really quirky and they make everyone laugh," said Dani Peterson, a friend of Jonah's who is also getting chemotherapy.

"We've been blessed to have someone who takes it one day at a time and looks at life in a bigger way," said Jeff Skrove, Jonah's father.

Jonah says his fight is just a dress rehearsal for all his acts still to come. "Next year, for my senior year, I'm going to want to make sure I'm in all the plays that I can," Jonah said. "That'd be fun."