By Phil Hall | December 21, 2005

“Peaks and Poles: The Will Cross Story” highlights the indefatigable athletic career of Will Cross, a mountaineer and polar adventurer who has braved the world’s most challenging environments despite being a Type 1 diabetic. In fact, Cross confounded naysayers through his ability to achieve feats which no person with diabetes ever attempted.

Cross, now 38, was first diagnosed with diabetes at the age of nine, yet he pursued extreme sports endeavors even though it was feared it would damage his health. Cross made headlines in January 2003 when he talk a fundraising walk for diabetes research to a place it had never been before: halfway across Antarctica, reaching the South Pole in a trek of more than 600 frozen miles.

This documentary follows Cross up Mount Everest, when he attempted to become the first diabetic to reach the peak of the mountain. He didn’t quite make it – a malfunction with his oxygen tank stalled his ascent in its final leg – but his ability to soar to new heights despite the requirements of daily diabetic health care were nothing less than astonishing.

Cross’ journeys have not been without problems and setbacks, most notably the collapse of his first marriage (his absences from home for his athletic pursuits was the chief cause for the severed union). Yet Cross’ achievements have been nothing short of remarkable, and this film is genuinely inspirational in offering Cross as a bona fide sports hero for raising awareness for diabetes research and awareness. Cross also promises to tackle Everest anew, and hopefully the sequel to this film can document his triumph!

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