(Photo: Debby Burns along with Tony Perkins, anchor of FOX 5 News, march to battle lung cancer.)
For the past three years, I have been truly honored to look out over the National Mall and see thousands who stand (and walk) beside me at the LUNGevity Breathe Deep DC 5k. It is a moving sight and even more inspiring to be a part of this unity. We are families, neighborhoods, corporations, and individuals who all share the common bond of being affected by lung cancer, but each year we bring our collective spirit and joy to fight back against this terrible disease.
Like many participants, my own reason for walking is deeply significant. Leon Maxwell Burns Jr., my husband and founder of Open Technology Group, lost his battle with lung cancer in 2011. Leon fought not only for himself but also for others as he became a spokesperson at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in the years following his diagnosis. He wanted to raise awareness of this terrible disease that claims almost 160,000 lives per year. That’s more lives than colorectal, prostate, and breast cancer combined.
Since the first walk in 2009, Breathe Deep DC has raised over one million dollars for lung cancer research and support. This kind of financial investment can help bring a cure faster, and I feel the power of this event as I walk beside new friends and allies Each step we take together brings us that much closer to a cure. Each step with the OTG family and our friends shows our commitment to this vital cause.
This year, I am proud to once again announce that OTG is an official sponsor of LUNGevity’s annual Breathe Deep DC 5k walk, giving those touched by the life and legacy of Leon a way to carry on this charge in his honor. It is our third year of participation, and I am dreaming big – we can and will get to a cure soon. I am OTG’s Team Leader, and I encourage you to join our journey toward a cure by registering to be a part of our 2018 team. You can also support the team with a donation; both donations and registration fees will help us reach our team goal of $20,000. OTG has already contributed $5,000, so we’re halfway there!
You can follow our team by liking Debby’s Journey, my page on Facebook. There you’ll receive event updates, news and facts about cancer research, and inspirational messages as we prepare to participate in the November 4th event. I hope to see you there!
LUNGevity Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the full extent provided by law.