Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself?
BE: I am Bradley Egel, Stay at home dad of 3, Cancer warrior for awareness and advocacy, Teacher, Musician & Optimist. I live with my lovely wife Jody and our 3 children in Northwest Suburban Chicago.
MW: How did The Walking Hope start?
BE: I cycle for cancer charity. One of my title sponsors is Teespring, a wonderfully supportive tee shirt crowd-funded design platform that allows cancer charity advocates like myself to design and produce amazing looking quality shirts for my various cancer charity projects! I am always looking for new and interesting ways to raise funds for cancer charity. So I decided making shirts and donating the proceeds to my cancer charity efforts would be a new and interesting way to fundraise. Teespring was the perfect platform for this and continues to be so! We were a match made in hoodie heaven! They also are just really good guys who support everything I do! Walker Williams and Evan Sites-Clayton, the co-founders of Teespring, are very hands on with me and always genuinely care about me and the cause I support. The idea for combining my love of The Walking Dead with the ability to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life came when I started sketching out the Logo with “Hope” in place of “Dead.” And the tagline on the back…Cancer fears the Walker…was the perfect double meaning! It all fit and a brand and cause were born! I started an online community on Facebook of like minded people…those who love pop culture and The Walking Dead AND fighting cancer! It has been a wonderful response!
MW: Where did you get the idea to do T-Shirts?
BE: Initially, the idea was to do one shirt. But the response from the Walking Dead fans was tremendous. We have now done 9 campaigns including fan art editions, a Team Carol version and now a Team Daryl Walking Hope design! The possibilities are endless. Now that people are becoming aware of The Walking Hope as an entity, we have so many variations we can do in the future!
MW: How do people buy The Walking Hope shirts?
BE: Buying a Walking Hope shirt is easy. Visit the current campaign at the link here: http://www.teespring.com/thewalkinghopeteamdaryl This campaign runs until Sunday, December 22nd. It is the 9th Walking Hope campaign. The 10th will begin shortly after with a different design.
MW: How many different T-Shirt campaigns have you done?
BE: This year I have done over 20 t shirt campaigns for various cancer charities and this is the 9th Walking Hope Campaign.
MW: What are the different T-Shirt designs you have done?
MW: How much to date has The Walking Hope made for ACS and LLS?
BE: I have done shirt campaigns this year for ACS, LLS, Curesearch, The MACC Fund and St. Baldricks (All cancer charities). I have sold more than 1,700 shirts raising a total of over $11,000 for various cancer charities!
MW: How did you get Melissa McBride AKA Carol involved?
BE: Melissa got involved after I tweeted to her during our second Walking Hope campaign. She bought one of her own hoodies and tweeted a picture of herself in it. She has been truly a gift to the cause. She has tweeted about each campaign as we have run them, and she has helped us tremendously. Such a giving and wonderful person!
MW: How did you get Norman Reedus AKA Daryl involved?
BE: Honestly…I have tweeted to Norman every time we ran a campaign. He gets millions of a tweets a day, so I understand that he can’t get to everything. But he finally did! It just happened to be the Team Daryl Walking Hope edition. Coincidence? 🙂
MW: Do you hope to get others from The Walking Dead involved with The Walking Hope?
BE: I always am happy to have as many people involved as possible. Steven Yeun, Lew Temple, Iron E. Singelton, Gale Anne Hurd, Addy Miller and many others have tweeted about the Walking Hope. The more the better…anything that helps me raise money for cancer awareness and research is fine by me! This is the true power of social media when used properly!
MW: What are the plans for the future?
BE: More shirts, more awareness…and eventually a cure! I really believe in the cause I am promoting. It is why I work so hard on this. I would like to see a world without cancer. Cancer causes such pain…but we offer hope. Hope that someday we will cure this insidious disease! And I believe we will someday!
MW: Will The Walking Hope be at any Cons. in 2014?
BE: I am working on being a part of The Walker Stalker Convention in Chicago in March! Waiting to hear back from James and Eric! Many Walking Hope supporters have attended conventions across the country wearing Walking Hope apparel! My friend Mary Edgar wore hers and took a picture with everyone at Walker Stalker Atlanta 2013!
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
BE: Everyone can make a difference. If you believe in your cause with all your heart, people will follow you towards a better world. I am so thankful that I can do something enjoyable, in my free time to make the world a better place. Join me on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thewalkinghope2 and help me spread the word about eradicating cancer in style!