When Gary Cross and his wife learned that their baby son Brad had hemophilia, it seemed like a relatively small bump in the road of their American dream family life. Medicine would make it all manageable. But the Crosses did not know the shots they were giving Brad for his condition carried a deadly virus.
As AIDS began to dominate the headlines, Gary started to doubt the doctors' assurances that everything was OK with Brad's treatment. And his demand for answers brought to light disturbing revelations: Thousands of hemophiliacs like Brad had been infected with HIV because the blood used for their clotting factor injections came from high-risk donor groups.
While caring for his ailing son, Gary embarked on a campaign for justice for Brad and the thousands like him. His efforts took him from the courtrooms to the steps of the Capitol in Washington D.C. The Crosses' heartbreaking personal story was broadcast nationally on CBS' 60 Minutes.
After more than a decade, Gary's crusade ended not in court or in government chambers but in a Los Angeles hotel, where with other leaders in the hemophilia community he brokered a remarkable peace settlement with the pharmaceutical companies whose products had killed.
This is his story.
A native Louisianan, Gary William Cross attended Louisiana State University and Baton Rouge Vocational Business School. He is retired from Rubicon, Inc., where he was an exporter/importer, raw material and precious metals buyer, and material control coordinator. He and his wife, Karen, have been married for more than forty years. The parents of Brad and Jennifer, the Crosses are active in fund-raising for The Children's Hospital in New Orleans.