Faith strengthens Crossman in cancer battle

Daniel Crossman’s hospital room was a revolving door of friends four weeks ago.

As Crossman, a sophomore, waited on test results for what he thought was mononucleosis, friends from his hall flooded his room.

When Crossman was alone, doctors came to him with the diagnosis: lymphoblastic leukemia.

“To say that I wasn’t scared would be a lie,” Crossman said. “I didn’t know what to think. However, it is in those exact times, when we have no idea what to do, that God works in mighty and beautiful ways.”

Crossman prayed and began reading Psalm 118.

“It’s an incredible passage that talks about giving thanks to the Lord, no matter the circumstance because of his unfailing love,” said Crossman, a spiritual life director (SLD) on hall M26-2. “Once I read those words, my cries immediately turned from fear and anguish to joy, thankfulness and utter peace.”

Crossman’s parents flew from South Dakota to Lynchburg the next day. After spending the weekend in the hospital, Crossman flew home to battle cancer.

“I am very blessed compared to many other cancer patients. My type of cancer is very treatable and curable,” Crossman said.

Crossman and his mom are staying with relatives in Denver, Colo., for the first few weeks of chemotherapy treatments, which includes taking four medications. Doctors inject two drugs into a major artery weekly.

It is an exhaustive regime of painful treatments and procedures, including bone marrow samples and spinal taps.

Despite the obstacles, Crossman trusts in the Lord’s plan.

Josh Fish, Crossman’s Resident Assistant (RA), said his example has united the hall.

“It’s really brought our hall together. His example has given guys on the hall more boldness in their faith,” Fish said.

SURROUNDED BY SUPPORT — (Above) Daniel Crossman, fourth from left, poses for a picture with friends, during the RA and SLD banquet this year. (Below) Daniel Crossman (left) and fellow prayer leader Rich Mathews, who stepped up to SLD after Crossman left, sit at the top of Mount Pleasant during a camping trip last Easter.

Over 65 students visited Crossman in the hospital, Fish said.

“It was humbling for me to see the impact he had,” said Campus Pastor Michael Miller, who worked closely with Crossman. “His attitude has just been remarkable. He has been an example to guys on his floor.”

Crossman is grateful for the support.

“I cannot explain the depth of love and care my hall mates, fellow students and staff have shown me during this,” Crossman said.

As expected, Crossman has good and difficult days. He is blessed with a supportive family, which also includes two younger brothers, he said.

“God uses these tragedies just to glorify Him. That should be our ultimate purpose to bring honor to Him,” Crossman said. “My hope is to really embrace what God is trying to teach me through this.”

Crossman plans to return to Liberty next fall and may take online classes this spring.

Miller said Crossman’s friends keep in touch with him.

“Daniel’s impact is evident by just how positive the guys are,” Miller said. “There is a lot of trust in the Lord to see him through it.”

Crossman is also drawing strength from God daily, he said.

“This is part of God’s plan. He has been preparing me for this. But I will not be able to get through this without him,” Crossman said. “In fact, I would be a complete wreck right now if it were not for him and the people he’s put into my life.”

PARKER is a reporter for the Liberty Champion

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