Golf Tournament Raises Money For Green Country Veteran Battling Lou Gehrig's Disease

Monday, April 11th 2011, 6:36 pm
By: News On 6

Tara Vreeland, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Friends and strangers hit the golf course Monday to raise money for a Green Country veteran battling Lou Gehrig's Disease.

News On 6 first told viewers last month about Master Sergeant Tom Garrett's fight to live, with his family right by his side.

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On Monday, both friends and strangers played in a golf tournament to help raise money for the Garretts. The money will go to help build a new home to accommodate the challenges Lou Gehrig's Disease presents.

Narrow hallways and bathrooms and a step down living room make it hard for Tom Garrett to get around the house. His wife says the goal is to keep him from feeling captive in his own home.

"Small tournament turned into a big tournament over the past month," Marty Johnson, who coordinated the golf tournament, said.

Nearly 300 golfers and 100 volunteers teed up at the Meadowbrook Country Club to take a swing.

"This is not somebody in a different country, this is not somebody outside of Oklahoma, this is a Tulsan that we are helping," Johnson said.

Master Sargeant Tom Garrett was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease in December 2009. He was told he only has a few years to live. Instead of dwelling, the Garrett's have chosen to cherish each day.

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"Everybody around us has just surrounded us with love, support, and more than we could have ever hoped and dreamed. God-size big," Docia-Gayle Garrett, Tom's wife, said.

The disease prevents him from saying so, but you can see the gratitude in Garrett's eyes. He's quick to smile and to give a reassuring squeeze.

"Every time I talk to her she makes me cry," Johnson said. "So it is. It's touching in my heart because of how they are."

The Garretts say the tournament gives them something positive to focus on. Although the disease has taken a lot away from the Garretts, it has given them a reason to truly live each and every day.

"You know a lot of times you take people for granted and you say things or you do things. So you realize everyday is a gift," Docia said.

Coordinator Marty Johnson says it will take them a few days to tally just how much the charity tournament raised. If you would like to help, a fund has been set up.

Donations can be made to:

Garrett Family Fund
P.O. Box 141222
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 74014