90-Year-Old Man Walks from Illinois to Texas for Childhood Cancer Awareness

by Samantha Whidden

90-year-old Illinois resident Dean Troutman announced on Tuesday he is planning to take a 3,500-mile walk from Illinois to Texas in order to raise funds for childhood cancer awareness.

While sharing more details about his 12-month childhood cancer research walking adventure, Troutman tells NBC Illinois outlet KXAN, “I like to walk, and I’ve got to have a reason to do it.”

Troutman also shares that St. Jude, a high-profile childhood cancer research organization, is the charity he believes deserves funding as much or more than anything he can think of. He then says that seven hundred is the most and biggest walk he’s ever completed.

Dean states that the walk will include traveling through a total of 15 states and then back home. He previously walked 700 miles in 2014 and raised $70,000. He also walked from his home to Memphis and raised $10,000.

Troutman explains that it will definitely take a while to complete the childhood cancer research walk, with the aim to be home by July or August 2022. “My goal now is to get out of Illinois, and once I get into Indiana, my goal is to hit Ohio.”

He will then hit Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. “I hope to be out in Florida by Christmas.”

Dean Troutman Explains Why He’s Ready to Take the Long Walk For Childhood Cancer Rearch

Troutman then says that the time to raise funds for childhood cancer research couldn’t be any better. Dean says, “As long as people keep sending in donations and these bones hold up and this old Boyd keeps holding together, I’m going to keep walking.”

His Facebook page adds, “This will be Dean’s last trek. Imagine walking 3600 miles throughout the USA. Let’s make this his best and most successful walk ever.”

So far, Dean has raised $13,519 for childhood cancer research as of Tuesday (July 20th).  His target goal is $36,000. On his St. Jude’s page, it was revealed that that the funds will go towards helping to ensure that families of childhood cancer patients never receive a bill. St. Jude’s goal is to cover treatment, travel, housing, and food. The organization notes that the goal is to help ensure that families should worry about is helping their child live instead of the other bills. 

St. Jude also says that its treatments have helped push the over childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago in 1962. St. Jude further explains that its fundraisers will help its research hospital to continue to lead the way the world understands, treats, and defeats childhood cancer, as well as life-threatening diseases. 

“St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.”