Sept. 4, 2007 | Harold Cross of Sherwood isn’t running the Chicago Marathon, but he will have a special part in it.
Diagnosed with renal clear cell carcinoma — a type of kidney cancer — Cross is being treated at the Arkansas Cancer Research Center (ACRC) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). He also is a friend and colleague of marathon runner and former Arkansan Brent Brown.
Brown plans to run the Chicago Marathon Oct. 7 in honor of Cross and, at the same time, raise money for the ACRC in Cross’ honor. Both men are employees of Fidelity Information Services. Brown is based out of Fidelity’s Jacksonville, Fla., office; Cross lives in Little Rock. They also share a birthday, which happens to be the same day as the race.
Since 1992, Brown has run 15 marathons and dedicated each one in memory or honor of a friend who has been diagnosed with an illness. He wears a photo of the loved one he is honoring on the back of his T-shirt during each race.
“By dedicating the marathon to someone, I remember that the pain I am feeling as a result of the marathon is no comparison to what the person I am dedicating the race to has experienced,” Brown said. “I know they are with me in spirit and that we can get through the marathon and the illness by working together.”
By focusing on the needs of his friend, Brown said he is able better able to endure the race. “For anyone who has run a marathon, you know it’s physically and mentally draining and that you ‘hit the wall’ around mile 20,” Brown said. “Without proper focus, determination and dedication, it’s hard to get through those final miles.” The total length of a marathon is 26.2 miles.
Cross has worked with Fidelity Information Services for more than 20 years and has continued his day-to-day duties as an account manager during his treatment. He supports nine banking customers in the United States. Brent has been with the company for more than 15 years.
Those wishing to make a contribution in Cross’ honor, can send it to the ACRC Foundation, 4301 West Markham St., Box 623, Little Rock, AR 72205. In the memo section of the check, put “donation in honor of Harold Cross.”
For information, call Rachelle Sanders at the ACRC Foundation Fund, (501) 296-1504, Ext. 1642.