At the age of 33, Tucker Keeling’s life took a dramatic turn. This father of two young boys was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Living in Las Vegas at the time, he relocated his family to Tulsa to be closer to his extended family. Keeling has battled ALS for more than 10 years now. With support from family and friends, he has remained active and done remarkably well and remains hopeful for a cure for this deadly disease.
Keeling is this year’s honoree for the MDA’s Hunt for a Cure event. Scheduled for Saturday, April 2 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Tulsa, Hunt for a Cure benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s research for a cure for ALS.
ALS is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. Nerve cells waste away and can no longer send messages to muscles, which eventually leads to muscle weakening and an inability to move the arms, legs and body. ALS affects approximately five out of every 100,000 people worldwide. The condition slowly gets worse, making it difficult for one to eat and breathe on one’s own. The life expectancy of someone with ALS is three to five years. As of now there is no known cure.
Proceeds from Hunt for a Cure will go directly to research to find a cure for this debilitating disease. Guests of the event will enjoy dinner and wine from several different restaurants, such as the Hyatt Regency, Upper Crust Catering and the Chalkboard. There will also be a live and silent auction and live entertainment.
Terry and Jennifer Keeling, Tucker Keeling’s brother and sister-in-law, are chairing this year’s event.
“This event is special to us because it is an opportunity for us to honor Tucker and to support the MDA who does so much to assist families impacted by ALS,” says Jennifer Keeling.
The couple became involved with the MDA through a friend whose mother also had ALS. The Keelings wanted to do something to help Tucker Keeling and the many others who are affected by this disease.
“Tucker is doing great considering his ALS. We attribute this to his positive attitude and his refusal to accept defeat in the face of the disease,” Jennifer Keeling says.
Tickets are $125 each, or $1,000 for a table of 10. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the downtown Hyatt Regency. For more information on the event and ticket sales, please contact MDA executive director Becky Wilkerson at 918.749.7997 or [email protected].