On eve of brain surgery, Whitehall boy becomes sheriff's 'captain'

June 10, 2019 07:13 PM

FORT EDWARD - You'd typically find him as a captain on the baseball or football field or basketball court, but lately, John Hoague-Rivette's biggest opponent is inside him.

The 10-year-old honors student at Whitehall Elementary was diagnosed last month with brain cancer, understandably throwing his family for a loop.

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"He was playing basketball in February, before we knew what was wrong," said Ginny Rivette, John's grandmother.

He's scheduled for surgery Tuesday to remove some of the tumors, though his family says the largest tumor is inoperable.

Monday afternoon, John, who comes from a law enforcement family, was sworn in as a member of the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

"To the rank of honorary captain. John, congratulations," announced Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy to a round of applause.

The room was barely big enough to hold all the police, family and John's smile.

After he was sworn in and inspected the police cars as his first official duty as captain, he talked to NewsChannel 13.

"I'm going to go back down to the hospital tomorrow for surgery. They're going to try to take out the tumors."
This reporter asked John if he was afraid. "Definitely. I think I would have to be crazy not to be," he said.

John turns 11 in just a few days. He has one birthday wish.

"I just want this whole thing with my brain and stuff to be over with."

After the surgery, there'll be chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

There's a fundraiser Tuesday at the Whitehall Elks Lodge and another June 26 at City Line Bar and Grill in Albany.

John's grandmother says she'll remain optimistic even if doctors are not. "My prognosis is he'll be playing baseball next summer. Theirs', I don't want to hear it."

John's 5th grade teacher, Karen Paddock, says he's a bright kid and a great student.

"He's got an awesome attitude, he's always positive. His cup is always half full. I think it will serve him well."

Like the captain that he is, John knows the value of a having a good team behind him.

"And I appreciate it so much. Because everybody has been so great."

There's an online fundraiser here


WNYT Staff

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