MD Anderson’s Boot Walk to End Cancer® — in its sixth year and second as a virtual event — will take place Saturday, Nov. 6. This year’s event is co-chaired by George and Deanna Lindsey of Houston, who have supported the Boot Walk since it began. They graciously sat down to talk about the event.
When and how did you first become involved with MD Anderson’s Boot Walk to End Cancer®?
George: I moved to Houston in February 2015 to host a radio show on 100.3-FM The Bull. I heard about the event because the station was a sponsor, and I immediately got involved that same year. I was involved with the Brown Cancer Center in Kentucky because of my family’s experiences with cancer. I lost my mother to cancer, and my sister is a two-time breast cancer survivor. It was a natural progression for me to also get involved with MD Anderson.
Deanna: I wasn’t able to fully get involved until last year. Prior to that, I was going back and forth between Houston and Louisville, Ky., where my mother and I owned a small business. I finally convinced my mother to sell the business and partially retire in Houston. My mother died unexpectedly from cancer last year, three months after diagnosis.
What did you enjoy most about last year’s event?
George: Last year’s event was a challenge in many ways. I enjoyed how staff and volunteers came together and pivoted to a virtual event, even though it had never been done before. It was amazing how people from different communities, states and countries came together and walked in their own neighborhoods. It became a fundraiser for people all around the world who care about cancer.
Deanna: Last year’s event made the Boot Walk accessible and fun to people who had never participated before, wherever they were.
What do you hope to accomplish this year as co-chairs?
George: I want it to become a successful multiyear fundraising effort for all cancers. This is one of the things I like most. Getting involved with the Boot Walk allows me to fundraise for all types of cancer.
What are some fun things that participants can look forward to at the event?
Deanna: I like the sense of community and the fact that people can walk in their neighborhoods. Even though we will again be walking virtually this year, we can all do our part to end cancer.
George: The “Boot Walk in a Box” is a lot of fun for top fundraisers who raise $5,000. Participants are sent a box containing items to help make the event a lot of fun. People really enjoyed receiving the gift boxes last year, and we’ll make it even more fun this year.
What would you say to someone who is hesitant to participate in the Boot Walk?
Deanna: Reach out — there are so many people who are willing to help you get started. You can go to the website and download the Boot Walk mobile app. Everybody is eager to help make this event a success.
George: The Boot Walk is 1.2 miles. Most walks are 5K or more, and people sometimes wonder if they have what it takes to finish these walks. In my walks to and from the car to visit loved ones, I had questions because someone I loved was going through a difficult time. When I made those walks, I was doing it for my mother and my sister. Participants can make the Boot Walk a celebratory activity honoring their loved ones who are going through this difficult time.
To learn more about the Boot Walk and to register for this year’s virtual event, visit mdanderson.org/bootwalk. Donations can be made through Tuesday, Nov. 30.
Join us for the virtual Boot Walk kickoff on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m. CST. Register here to attend.