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Coach’s mom honored for beating breast cancer

Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05

cancer soccer

justin stene / The Prospector

Marie Cross (left), mother of UTEP soccer head coach Kevin Cross, was honored at Kick for the Cure during the game against Houston Oct. 9 at University Field. Marie Cross is a breast cancer survivor.

Marie Cross, mother of soccer head coach Kevin Cross and Scott Cross, feared the thought of cancer after her mother died from the disease, but rarely thought to check her breasts for lumps.

"I just happened to check them one day before a bath and I actually felt the lump," Marie Cross said. "It had gotten into the first two lymph nodes, but it didn't get into the rest, so they were able to take out the cancer. If I waited longer, it would have been a different story."

Marie Cross was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent two surgeries and radiation treatment for the disease.

"(I remember) it was last year during our training camp when she found out," Kevin Cross said. "It was really scary because she didn't know what to expect. You hear ‘cancer' and you begin to worry, ‘Is she going to be here?' ‘Is she going to make it?' which really scares you."

Now a year later, Marie Cross ha received a clean bill of health from her doctor and stands as an example of what can happen when the disease is detected early.

On Oct. 7, UTEP took on Houston and won 6-3. The night was not only important to the season, but to Kevin Cross, whose mother was honored for surviving breast cancer in the Kick for the Cure event. It was arranged by Zeta Tau Alpha in connection with Susan G. Komen.

"We paired up with UTEP athletics and Susan G. Komen to honor the survivors," said Daniela Rodriguez, sophomore nursing major and event organizer. "Its just a way to really remind people how important it is to recognize these people and their struggles."

Senior midfielder and nursing major Katie Dorman helped lead the Miners to the win and said this was an important event because of what she has seen in the nursing department.

"Being in the hospital, I have seen women going through their treatment, and you realize they are going through a lot more then most people have to go through," Dorman said. "Tonight, we were supporting women who were or are fighting breast cancer, so it was a special night and we wanted to show our support because they have a bigger fight than we do."

Despite Marie Cross' struggle, Kevin Cross said they were scared of what could come, but knew their mother would be fine.

"We didn't want to act scared around her, but we felt confident she was going to be okay," Kevin Cross said. "Right now she is having to take medicine and seems to be doing a lot better due to her awesome attitude towards everything."

Marie Cross is just one of many who survived thanks to doctors and supporters who continue to look for a cure for this disease.

"Its overwhelming to hear the stories of the people who have gone through this," Rodriguez said. "One in eight women have a chance to be diagnosed with breast cancer. The way I see it, there are about 56 of us in my sorority, which means seven of us can be detected and possibly pass away from it, and that's why I feel really strongly about it."

Kevin Cross said that this win was very close to his heart because it wasn't just about winning or losing, it was about recognizing his mother and countless others who have battled cancer.

"It was an emotional night honoring my mom, and the girls responded in a huge way tonight, so I'm very thankful to the team for putting on such a good performance on a special night," Kevin Cross said.

Krystal Oblinger may be reached at

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