TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - This year’s annual Komen for the Cure “More Than Pink” Walk in East Texas will be different due to COVID-19. The event isn’t canceled, but it’s now virtual.
“The walk is still happening, it’s just happening all over the town and all-over East Texas, instead of just one location,” said Jeannine O’Deens, the executive director of Komen for Central and East Texas.
“We cannot cancel this event because breast cancer doesn’t get canceled because of this pandemic,” said O’Deens. “We need to be there to provide the research, patient care, and advocacy for these patients whether there’s a pandemic happening or not.”
While organizers said they couldn’t cancel the event, they knew they couldn’t have such a large gathering of people.
“The safety of our breast cancer patients and survivors, at the core of our walk, is priority number one,” said O’Deens. “As well, of course, as the health and safety of everybody participating.”
O’Deens said they were especially concerned for those who may be immuno-compromised, a problem they say the virtual walk actually solves.
“Especially the people that would not normally have gotten out, I imagine there’s going to be more people doing it this year because of that fact,” said Frankie Burns, a survivor and participant for the upcoming virtual walk. “Because they’re able to do it in their own homes or their own neighborhoods and not around so many people.”
The walk will now take place with participants walking wherever they are and tracking steps and fundraising through an app and Facebook group.
“I don’t think it’s going to take away from the feeling; the feeling of I did this,” said Burns. “If I can do this, I can do anything. I can beat cancer because I can do this in this hot, August, Texas heat.”
“Even though we’ll all be walking in different areas around town, we’re still creating this community of hope, and letting those breast cancer patients today and tomorrow know we have their back and we’ll be there for them,” said O’Deens.
Registration for the virtual walk is $10 and donations can be done electronically, sent in to the P.O. box listed on the Komen website, or dropped off at a drive-thru event at Green Acres Church in Tyler.
To register for the walk or learn more, head to the Komen website here.