Seymour native nominated for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society 2021 Man of the Year
As a teenage pediatric cancer patient, Iman Tucker said his memory faded with what he saw.
In December 2008, when the Seymour native was 14 years old, he was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma, an aggressive B-cell subtype that grows and spreads very rapidly and affects the jaw, facial bones, intestines, kidneys, ovaries, bone marrow, blood, etc. can affect. Central nervous system and other organs, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Tucker recalls that he wasn’t scared because he was never alone.
“My grandma was there every night. My brother and grandfather came as often as possible to be there for me. My family and my medical providers were always there for me,” said the now 26-year-old. “I’ve never had to open a bill, make a difficult decision, figure out what’s next. I just had to rest and relax. I’m not saying it wasn’t hard or not scary. What I’m saying is that the caretaker does the had a real burden. “
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Now he feels morally obliged to do his best to these people.
“I can’t let you down after you’ve done everything for me,” he said.
It’s safe to say that Tucker didn’t let anyone down.
After graduating from Seymour High School in 2012, he studied marketing and sports management and entered athletics at the University of Indianapolis. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 2016 and a master of business administration in data analysis two years later.
After several stints in Corporate America, he had the opportunity to operate and grow a technology tool, CardBoard It, a digital whiteboard tool for software development, and to set up a disc jockey and entertainment company, Believe Brand Ent., And a trust company . Apparel company based in Believe Brand Co.
Tucker has also served in the Indianapolis cancer awareness community for the past decade.
Last year he was invited to a breakfast until 2020. Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man of the Year Rich Pentz. Tucker had mixed up for Man of the Year for his celebration and was close to him and his wife, Erin.
Tucker shared his story with the LLS team and learned that Pentz had nominated him for the Man of the Year 2021 campaign.
“I was overwhelmed, a little intimidated by the question, but I knew it was only right if Rich thought I deserved it, that I accept the nomination and do my best,” said Tucker.
“After suffering from cancer and LLS supported me on this journey, knowing that so many who had leukemia and lymphoma, including my cousin Trey Hohenstreiter, I knew I wanted to do it for them,” he said . “I knew I wanted to do it for all of my caretakers – my grandparents, my friends, my nurses, doctors, the community that invested their lives to save my life.”
Candidates in the United States form donation teams to raise money for blood cancer research and to honor two local children who survive blood cancer. Tucker is one of 15 candidates from Indianapolis.
The man and woman who raise the most donations during the 10-week campaign will be named Man or Woman of the Year in their community. There is also a national man and a national woman.
Starting February 18, people can donate on Tucker’s online site at pages.lls.org/mwoy/in/indy21/itucker.
“Each of us knows someone or a family who has cancer. Cancer tore families apart and took our lives far too soon,” said Tucker. “I believe it is our duty to support our brothers and sisters in their struggles. The fight against cancer is such a strenuous physical, mental and emotional process, but it is important to take on the financial burden that cancer brings with it illuminate. “
LLS’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improve the quality of life for patients and their families, according to the website. The nonprofit funds life-saving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice of all blood cancer patients seeking access to care.
Although his cancer has gone, Tucker said he found his body still vulnerable to injury and function weaker than that of his colleagues.
“College sport was tough as it wasn’t that far from my own fight, but God gave me the heart of a fighter and I did my best to get the most of it regardless of the ailments I had from chemotherapy had weakened body. ” he said. “Praise God, however. I didn’t have to worry about cancer. I won my battle and am now focusing on natural, holistic health to ensure a long, happy, cancer-free life.”
Life as a DJ
At the end of his athletic experience in college, Tucker said he needed to find a replacement to stay connected and get involved in the Indianapolis entertainment industry and community.
He bought beginner DJ gear to keep his college teams entertained early on, but never took the art seriously until he met Nick Saligoe, aka DJ Metrognome, and enrolled at his DJ academy, Deckademics.
“He gave me so much knowledge of the difference between a DJ and a turntablist and pushed me to be more of the latter,” said Tucker. “He encouraged me and really pushed me to practice and set a clear vision for what I could be if I got down to the basics. He taught me how to bring my own flair to my style, and I owe him so much for what I know now. “
At the time, Jeremy Gearries, owner of DJs Direct, was teaching Tucker on the business side of the arts.
“I reached out to him to ask about his gear, how he started and he opened my eyes to how to make a business out of DJing, how to build a team, and how to run a brand, the customers can trust. ” Said Tucker.
Tucker becomes a professional DJ who travels the country performing and entertaining. He has mixed for universities, the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Christian Conferences, the Indy 500 Festival, the NCAA basketball tournament, the Indy Mini Marathon, Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine, and more.
He expanded his personal brand into a DJ team that can handle light, sound, DJ’ing and MC’ing for small to large events in the region.
“What I love about my career as a DJ is the ability to create memories for thousands of people every night,” said Tucker. “I go to every gig and know that this can be a night someone may never forget. So I have to be sure that I’m in the right headspace to do my best and bring out infectious energy.”
Believe in a brand
Tucker’s clothing company began with him wearing the goods after he was tired of wearing brands and logos that didn’t represent who he was or what he believed in.
“Believe brand should never be a business. However, when I was wearing the clothes, not only did I get a lot of compliments for the clothes, but I also saw myself having deliberate conversations about faith and God with complete strangers once they realized what it was for the designs were in place, “he said.
The designs spread positive messages, express belief, and create intentional conversations about spirituality, regardless of what the personal path may be, Tucker said.
“I knew I couldn’t keep this to myself,” he said. “I wanted others to have the opportunity to have these conversations.”
He started out with tops, outerwear, hats and accessories, but as the company grew and sold more products, he needed help.
“From producing, designing and packaging to managing our charity item, Believe Brand has grown into an amazing team of passionate people who really believe in the product,” he said. “Every person who buys our product is part of the team that makes Believe Brand a life-giving experience. I cannot express enough how grateful I am for their hard work. It is you who make us relevant.”
Tucker said Believe Brand never bothered about the money as much of the profits go to charity.
“It was always about being a positive light in our church,” he said.
When Tucker first started working for CardBoard It, Tucker said there is a lot to learn very quickly.
Fortunately, he said that Chief Executive Officer Adam Scroggin trusted him to help build systems and serve customers.
“I’ve grown so much with CardBoard, and it opened my eyes to the difficulty of being an entrepreneur, but also to the privilege of working in situations where you have an immediate impact,” said Tucker. “I have been blessed by God to have the chance to work in a challenging technological environment while building and supporting our brands.”
Looking back, Tucker said he realizes life is short and he’s lucky enough to get a second chance.
“I forever owe those who gave me so much,” he said. “I had a renewal of my life and my perspective. I wake up every day motivated to do my best and to create work that can inspire others as much as I was inspired.”
Tucker said it was important to get the best out of life and to serve others.
“My work is not about me. It reflects the love so many have given me,” he said. “You have encouraged me and built me into a creative, free thinker. I want to spread hope and give off infectious positive energy. I want people to know that I believe in them and their journey. I want people to know that they are not alone. “
For anyone affected by cancer, Tucker encourages them to do their best, keep hope and keep the faith.
“Always try to make someone’s day even if you don’t feel good,” he said. “Focus on leaving a legacy. Your story matters. So many look up to you. If you win your fight, you will be the reason someone else hasn’t given up on theirs.”
On the Internet
Iman Tucker, originally from Seymour, is one of the candidates for the year 2021 of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Starting February 18, people will be able to make online donations on his behalf at pages.lls.org/mwoy/in/indy21/itucker.
Also check out and purchase items from his company, beliebrandco.com.