Nearly 6,500 turned out to help give cancer the boot.
Cancer survivors, families and friends of MD Anderson Cancer Center gathered in the heart of the Texas Medical Center to celebrate the institution’s 75th anniversary. The week-long celebration, which paid homage to the faculty, staff, patients, survivors, volunteers and supporters, raised nearly $15 million to support MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer.
Some 2,000 guests, including dignitaries from around the world, such as Vice President Joe Biden and former President George H.W. Bush, attended a sold-out gala that raised almost $14 million, and the inaugural Boot Walk to End Cancer™, a 1.2-mile walk to “give cancer the boot,” drew approximately 7,000 cancer survivors, families and friends and raised more than $881,000.
Veteran newsman Bob Schieffer and actor Gerald McRaney took center stage as gala emcees. In addition to DePinho and Vice President Biden, TNT Sports reporter and cancer survivor Craig Sager; former Secretary of State James A. Baker III; and UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven offered remarks. Entertainment included country music star Reba McEntire, gospel singer Yolanda Adams, opera star Ana María Martínez, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, The Tenors, the Houston Celebration Chorus and the Houston Children’s Chorus.
During the gala, MD Anderson President Ronald DePinho, M.D., officially announced the creation of the Beau Biden Chair for Brain Cancer Research. W.K. Alfred Yung, M.D., who served as Beau Biden’s doctor, presented a commemorative memento to Dr. Jill Biden and Vice President Biden, leader of the White House Cancer Moonshot, which aligns with MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program™.
National, state and local officials attended to show their support for the fight to end cancer. In attendance were U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, U.S. Rep. John Culberson, U.S. Rep. Al Green, U.S. Rep. Gene Green, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, Texas State Rep. Carol Alvarado, Texas State Rep. Tom Craddick, Texas State Rep. Borris Miles, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston City Council Members Ellen Cohen and Jack Christie. Also in attendance were numerous members of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors and Advance Team.
“My family and I were honored to join our fellow Houstonians and Americans in celebrating MD Anderson and its 75 years of passionate service to millions of patients and families faced with cancer,” said former President George H.W. Bush. “As a former chair of MD Anderson’s Board of Visitors, I have personally witnessed the institution’s courage and commitment to its mission to end cancer, and I was gratified to see so many supporters unified at this magnificent event to make that noble goal a reality.”
Read more about the gala and MD Anderson’s 75th anniversary celebration in the Newsroom.
Scenes from the celebration
Some 2,000 guests attended the sold-out gala, which raised close to $14 million.
Former Presidents Charles LeMaistre, M.D., and John Mendelsohn, M.D., and Ronald DePinho, M.D.
Sen. John Cornyn, former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Adm. William McRaven were among the guests.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declared it The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Week.
Veteran newsman Bob Schieffer and actor Gerald McRaney emceed the event.
Vice President Joe Biden and former President George H.W. Bush
The creation of the Beau Biden Chair for Brain Cancer Research was officially announced.
Country music star Reba McEntire
Gospel singer Yolanda Adams
NBA sideline reporter and cancer survivor Craig Sager
Sager, DePinho and former President Bush
The Tenors were among the performers.
A member of The Tenors serenades second lady of the United States Jill Biden.
Opera star Ana María Martínez
Martínez, Schieffer and McRaney
Rabbi Alvin Sugarman gave the invocation.
Some 2,000 guests attended the sold-out gala.
Lee Majors and his wife, Faith
John Mendelsohn, M.D. and Christopher Logothetis, M.D.
Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D., and James Allison, Ph.D.
Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel
Guests took the opportunity to write messages on the Strike Through Cancer Wall.
Former Senator Phil Gramm
Bob Schieffer introduces former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III.
Rich and Nancy Kinder (from left) and James A. Baker III.
Sheridan and John Eddie Williams.
Rabbi Alvin Sugarman.
Barbara and Gerald Hines.
R.C. Slocum and Lowry Mays.
Bill and Christine Gutknecht (from left) and Jo Lynn and Gregg Falgout
Kay Bailey Hutchison (from left), Ashley Rankin and Mary Lester.