Athlete delivers inspirational message at Camp Endeavor

An elite world-class athlete was at Rock Valley College (RVC) this past weekend to address a group of children with diabetes. Even though he’s reached the pinnacle of success in his chosen sport, his face is one that would not immediately be recognized by most. And although his name may not be a household word, Will Cross is definitely deserving of such acclaim.

Cross has successfully climbed the highest mountain on each of the seven continents, and has led expeditions to the North and South poles.

Cross was the keynote speaker at the inaugural Camp Endeavor. The camp brought together nearly 60 children and their families from northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, ranging in age from 5 to 16, to learn about managing and living with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes.

Cross was diagnosed with the disease at age 9. His inspirational message to the campers was that, even though afflicted with insulin-dependent diabetes, one could still reach the highest of heights.

Cross’ most recent trip was a successful climb to the summit of Mt. Everest in the spring of 2006. He had attempted this climb twice before, and was as close as 100 vertical meters from the peak before being sent back down the mountain by severe weather. CNN, The Discovery Channel, BBC and the Today Show have chronicled his story.

After delivering the keynote address, Cross stayed at the camp the remainder of the day to answer questions from the campers and their parents. He also signed autographs for each of the children on items ranging from his photo, camper’s T-shirts, Frisbees and even one blood glucose meter.

It was a real coup for our area to have an athlete of his caliber to come to town and share his story with the local children and their families. He and his wife, Amy, live in Pittsburgh with their six children.

More information about Cross and his adventures can be obtained by logging on to his Web site,

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

from the July 25-31, 2007, issue

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