Pain-2-Power Person of the Week: Cross Kubik

Cross Kubik, 17, of Springfield, Missouri, who some have dubbed the Miracle Kid, returned to the pitching mound this past spring.  That would be remarkable enough, given that he had just beaten leukemia, but there’s a lot more to the story.

See, Cross Kubik was treated for neuroblastoma, a dreaded childhood cancer, at age 2.  He went through a 12-hour surgery to remove the tumor and dozens of rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.  He needed other yearly treatments and checkups until he was a teenager and considered “cured.”

Then, during the pandemic, after Kubik’s yearly checkup was canceled, Kubik’s mother Ashley got worried. She had a sense something was wrong.  Really wrong.  She didn’t want to believe it, but her instincts were too powerful to ignore.  So she made sure Cross went to the doctor.  And that’s when he was diagnosed with leukemia triggered by his prior cancer treatment.  That meant more chemotherapy and a bone marrow donation from his younger sister Creighton, to try to save his life.  And he went through it all, without wavering, because of his determination to live and to pitch, again.

Kubik credits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis with saving his life – twice.  And he credits his family.  And he credits his faith in God.

There’s more to the story that speaks to the power of God, by the way.  Kubik plans to attend medical school and become a sports medicine doctor or an oncologist.  Now, take just a minute to think about that.  Is it too much to wonder whether all the pain that Cross Kubik and his father, mother and sisters have gone through for so many years as he confronted cancer might well turn Cross into a powerful healer?  Is there any kid out there who wouldn’t take heart just from visiting with Dr. Cross Kubik, whether at St. Jude’s (Wouldn’t that be something?) or any other hospital, anywhere.  Is it too much to wonder whether the healing in kids facing cancer might actually begin just by hearing the story of the man they are about to meet—the man who will be their doctor?

If you look at yourself or you look at your family or you look at the world and think that there isn’t any sense to it all, think, again.  The whole world is set up for comebacks—one, after another.  And that’s why every kind of pain sets the stage for some kind of power.  We just have to claim it.  That isn’t always easy.  It’s sometimes very, very hard—hard nearly beyond words.  But it is always, always possible.

Dr. Keith Ablow

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