The Cross Family believes in the power of prayer. And medical research.
After 12 years of fighting, 78-year-old Kingfisher resident Floyd Cross beat the cancer that started in his colon and moved to his liver. To celebrate, his family is holding the “Tough Enough to Wear Purple” steer wrestling competition on May 8 to raise money for cancer research at OMRF.
When the doctors found cancer in Cross’s colon in 1998, he opened himself up to every kind of treatment in the hopes that he might live through it. Surgeries, chemotherapy, pills—if there was a chance it would work, they were willing to take the chance.
“We’re firm believers in prayer,” said daughter Sherrie Cross. “And medical research helped answer those prayers.”
After the cancer had metastasized to his liver, a surgeon looked at his x-rays and said he could not operate. The tumor was too close to an artery. One nick and Cross might bleed to death. But another doctor passing by saw the x-rays and said, “I can fix that.”
Using a newly developed therapy called radio frequency ablation, doctors burned away Cross’s tumors three times, in addition to continued medication. Now, he’s cancer-free.
“After people die, a lot of times they set up memorial runs in their honor,” Sherrie Cross said. “My dad’s still alive, so we want to throw a party.”
Because Floyd Cross and his family have been involved in rodeos since he was a young man, they chose to host a steer wrestling competition, to be held May 8 at 2 p.m. at the Kingfisher Roundup Club Arena, 13th Street and Elks Road. Cowboys from across the country will compete with prizes going to the best three average times.
The Crosses are using the event to help raise money for cancer research at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, in the hopes that emerging therapies can help others beat cancer. In addition to T-shirt sales, the family hopes to garner donations and will sell tickets for raffle items including a football signed by Curtis Lofton, steaks, gift certificates and original artwork.
Those interested in entering the competition can call or text (405) 313-1776. Entries will be taken until 1:30 p.m. on the day of the event. The entry fee is $150 for three tries with $1,000 added money in the pot.
OMRF has enjoyed enormous support from Western Oklahoma communities, with farmers and ranchers from Enid, El Reno, Kingfisher and more contributing when the foundation first began. That support lives on today in fundraisers statewide.