Ever recognising the contributions of great artists
whose creative imagination and work has made a major contribution
to Fairy and Fantasy images world wide, Fairies World®
is proud to present the work of Tom Cross.
Not only has Tom worked wonders with his Wizards
and his Fairies but he discovered in January
2004 that as a non smoker he has lung cancer. We are consciously
aware of similar illnesses within our artists fairy circle
and the outpouring of love, prayers and support from so many
of us has lifted the spirits of our patients as they undergo
their treatment, giving strength for them to help others.
Those reading this please see the links to where great help
and comfort and support is at hand. Tom is a tower of strength
his story is below, we wish him continued success with his
artistic achievements and in his fight with cancer for himself
and for so many others.
An artist, author, and designer, Tom is known worldwide
for his lighthearted, yet thought-provoking glimpses into
the aspects of nature that are so often overlooked-its lore,
its myth, and its legends. His art is well known through its
publication as limited edition art prints by the prestigious
Mill Pond Press and in numerous books, including his creation,
FAIRY GARDEN: Fairies of the Four Seasons and the
popular THE WAY OF WIZARDS, which he wrote and illustrated.
His work appears on many different licensed products such
as puzzles, greeting cards, posters and collectible products.
It has been exhibited worldwide, including the recently completed
European touring exhibit, IMAGES FROM MIDDLE-EARTH,
which attracted some 30,000 spectators in Rome. Tom
also holds the distinction of being perhaps the only officially
sworn in expert witness - on faeries mind you - in a multi-million
dollar lawsuit and jury trial in California that has, as of
this writing, been in and out of the courts since 1999.
A nationally recognized specialist in the study of coastal
barrier island ecology, Tom Cross has contributed his talents
to the likes of the Cousteau Society, the EPA and the Conservation
Foundation. A longtime resident of the Sarasota area, Tom
Cross lives in Osprey, FL with his wife, Patti, and their
CANCER: A CHALLENGE & AN OPPORTUNITY
"Never a smoker, I was shocked at age 49 with the January
2004 diagnosis of terminal lung cancer. Through dogged determination
and research, the support of friends and family, an acceptance
of complementary and alternative treatments, and essential
medical expertise from near and far, a daunting fight for
survival holds hope.
Much has been learned through this experience about the
human condition - the compassion of friends and strangers
alike, the strength of will, the power of positive thinking
and the camaraderie found in a common cause to overcome a
formidable foe that afflicts so many, yet is so misunderstood.
Every year lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death
in the United States--more than 160,000 deaths per year; more
than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. Concurrently,
178,000 new cases are diagnosed annually, at least half of
which are too late for curative therapy. 30% of all lung cancer
cases are non-smokers, with a growing number of "never-smokers"
now being identified with the disease Lung cancer, because
of the stigma of being a self-inflicted disease, receives
some of the lowest research and treatment funding of all cancers.
Statistics show $24,000 in research per breast cancer death
and $1,800 per lung cancer death.
It is my hope that through my art, participation in lung
cancer awareness activities that some small difference may
be made to bring hope and someday a cure to this disease."
ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES
Diagnosed as an inoperable, stage IV case with little chances
of surviving one year, his relentless determination and self-advocacy
lead him to various major cancer centers, finally zeroing
in on compelling evidence from clinical trials with targeted
lung cancer drugs that showed promise for this "never-smoker"
subset of lung cancer patients (defined as having smoked less
than 100 cigarettes lifelong). There was little hope for a
cure, but there was hope and a reasonable chance that the
disease could be controlled and treated as a chronic condition.
After a novel protocol of the standard systemic chemotherapy
complemented with the targeted daily pill, Iressa, and a regimen
consisting of a carefully tailored diet, traditional Chinese
herbs, acupuncture and other "outside the box" thinking,
Tom had a complete response and was cancer-free as of July,
2004 - an unexpected but welcome result. He stayed on the
Iressa pill, the alternative treatments, an array of supplements
and accelerated his efforts on behalf of lung cancer research
Much has been learned over the past year about lung cancer
in never-smokers that may open doors for the entire lung cancer
population, including the discovery of genetic mutations,
that when present, may indicate a greater chance of response
to the targeted therapy.
Unfortunately, as is so often the case with lung cancer,
Tom's disease returned in April of 2005. An anxious 3 months
of treatment-free tests, a lung biopsy, gene sequencing for
the mutations (none were found) and exploration into possible
clinical trials or more chemo ensued.
In July of 2005, part by design and part by happenchance,
Tom decided to try Tarceva, another targeted pill. Tests 6
days later showed the disease diminishing - an unprecedented
occurrence. Follow-up tests in Sept. '05 showed an amazing
further diminishment of the cancer by 75% or more! All involved
are happily befuddled.
Buoyed by yet another victory for chronic survival, Tom
continues with his varied lung cancer advocacy tasks, including
the Chronic Survival Tour art show and events (http://benefitshow05.tomcross-artist.com/),
and ongoing work on the online registry he co-founded with
fellow-patient Terri Hunziker, www.neversmokers.com.
Meanwhile, progress continues to be made in lung cancer
treatment and Tom intends to be around to benefit from them
. . . chronically.
Tom's updates can be found in his online journal
and guestbook at http://www2.caringbridge.org/fl/tomcross/
941-966-3843 FL home
607-692-4636 NY home
Never Smokers lung cancer site:
My cancer survival journal site:
My art and business site: