Adventurer to speak on global travels, overcoming Diabetes

Will Cross has climbed the tallest mountain each continent, crossed the Sahara and trekked to the north pole
Thursday, March 13, 2008 | 11:42 p.m. CDT; updated 8:49 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Will Cross is a man of motivation.

Since 1991, he has crossed the Sahara dessert, walked to both the north and south poles,and has climbed the tallest mountain on every continent, including Mount Everest twice.

Such accomplishments would be considered amazing for any one person to achieve, yet Cross, 41, has succeeded in spite of the extra challenge of having Type 1 diabetes. It is a condition in which the body does not produce insulin, which is needed to convert glucose into energy.

Cross, a father of six, is the perfect person to inspire people who have the disease to overcome the challenges of living with diabetes.

“Diabetes doesn’t have to stop you,” Cross said.

And that is the message that he wants to convey.

Cross is coming from his home in Pittsburg to speak at a fundraising event for Camp Hickory Hill, a summer camp that educates and motivates kids with Type 1 diabetes to live a healthy lifestyle through recreation. Cross will be making a presentation about living a healthy, active lifestyle at the Tiger Hotel in downtown Columbia on Saturday.

“I feel that challenges in the outdoors build character,” said Ken Luraas,the executive director of Camp Hickory Hill and the man who invited Cross to come and speak.

Luraas said that managing Type 1 diabetes is about having a healthy lifestyle, not just about getting the right doses of insulin. Luraas also said that the camp was fortunate to book Cross.

“People who are coming should expect spectacular images of the world and a rich story,” Cross said.

Cross speaks to crowds of 50 to 5000.For large events, it can cost more than $12,000 to have him speak. However, Novo Nordisk, a company that manufactures rapid-acting insulin and sponsors Cross in his expeditions, is sponsoring his appearance in Columbia.

For more information on Cross, visit

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