MUSKEGON, Mich.,– Whatever it takes. The three words have taken on a new meaning for the Cross family, after losing a loved one to cancer.
Andy Cross was diagnosed with the disease in August 2011. Instead of getting down about his condition, he was thankful it was him and not his wife or twin boys.
“He was so happy it was him having to go through this, compared to me, or his boys or anyone else that he loved so much,” explained Jenny Cross, Andy’s wife. “This was his battle. He felt like he was given this battle to fight.”
And fight he did. Cross started an aggressive treatment plan, enduring chemotherapy and radiation for months. In January 2012, doctors had good news for the family: the mass in his chest had shrunk.
“At that point, was one of the high points when they said it was a win for us,” said Jenny.
Five months later, the family was blindsided with bad news. Doctors said the cancer had spread to Cross’ liver, ribs and spine. They gave him a year to 18 months to live.
Still, Cross kept a positive attitude and didn’t lose hope.
“He just said well, whatever it takes is what we’ll do,” Jenny told FOX 17 News. “And, that kind of stuck through the whole journey… Every high or low he kept that attitude going.”
The slogan “Whatever it Takes” led to a movement on social media, aimed at supporting Andy in his fight against cancer. People from all over the world flooded the family with pictures holding up signs with the phrase.
The Cross family also had bracelets, t-shirts and other items made with the words to raise money for Andy’s medical bills.
In December 2012, Cross entered the hospital for treatment. After celebrating Christmas with his wife and sons Kamden and Gavin in the ICU, he passed away on December 28th at the age of 34.
The family was devastated but vowed to continue his fight.
“I had always promised Andy that if anything happens I would continue to do whatever it takes to make sure the boys grow into the men he would be proud of,” said Jenny. “Life does throw you some curve balls, but it’s how you stand back up after those curve balls, that’s what matters at the end of it.”
Jenny and her sons continue to reach out and provide support to others Michigan families impacted by cancer. They’ve adopted families and continue to raise money for the American Cancer Society to fund research for a cure.
Eventually, Jenny would like to create a foundation in Andy’s honor, fittingly called “Whatever it Takes.”
“When it started to get momentum, he was so proud of that fact. And I think now that he would just be ecstatic to know his legacy lives on,” said Jenny.
The Cross family plans to hold a benefit in Andy’s honor on Saturday March 16, 2013 at Sherman Bowling Center in Muskegon.
Tickets will be $20 a 2 person team and that includes 3 games of scotch doubles bowling and shoes for both.
All proceeds will go to benefit the Cross Family.
For more information, contact Brad at 231-955-0170 or clickhere.