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Ted Kitchel Scores a Hole in One With Annual Golf Fundraiser

Writer / Kevin Conrad
Photography Provided

Ted KitchelBeing diagnosed with a progressive disease for which there is no cure is unimaginable to most of us. It’s a reality that Center Grove resident and former Indiana University All-American basketball player Ted Kitchel has been living with for five years. He is among the nearly one million people in the United States who are living with Parkinson’s disease. Every year, 60,000 people are diagnosed. The disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. It can cause tremors, stiffness and slow movement.

Kitchel, an IU Hall of Fame basketball player, refuses to let the disease slow him down. In fact, he’s joined the fight to find a cure. In August he hosted his second annual Golf Outing to help raise funds for Parkinson’s research.

Kitchel scored another “hole in one,” generating nearly $55,000 to support education and research of Parkinson’s disease in the Department of Neurology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

“It was a fantastic day,” Kitchel says. “We had a great turnout and a great time. A big thank you to my wife Kristi, and my daughter Mackenzie, for all of their hard work in organizing this wonderful event.”

This year’s charity golf event at Valle Vista Golf Club was a Who’s Who of former IU basketball players, current IU assistant basketball coaches, former Purdue players, and Kitchel’s closest friends.

Ted Kitchel

IU men’s basketball head coach and Kitchel’s former IU teammate, Mike Woodson, was unable to attend due to a prior commitment, but didn’t let that stop him from lending his support.

“I’m at home in my recliner the night before the golf outing and I get a call from Woody,” Kitchel says of Woodson. “He says he can’t attend but he wants to donate $5,000.”

Coach Woodson also sent two IU assistant coaches to attend and play in the golf outing.

Ted KitchelDespite a rainy day, Kitchel’s inaugural golf outing in 2019 raised more than $40,000 for Parkinson’s research. With this year’s total, Kitchel has raised more than $95,000, and he plans to keep it up.

“I’m doing fine,” Kitchel says. “I have good doctors that take good care of me. I’m active, and I do Rock Steady Boxing and play golf. I think it’s a slower-moving type of Parkinson’s. I don’t have many problems any different than what I had five years ago. My Parkinson’s is fine. I encourage everybody who has Parkinson’s to get out and stay active. Whether it’s walking, doing Rock Steady Boxing or playing golf, don’t sit home on the couch, as it will only get worse. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. You die with Parkinson’s. You don’t die because of Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s is something you can live with, so deal with it. Get out, and stay active.”

To make a donation or for more information, go to swingingforparkins.wixsite.com/tedkitchelgolfouting.

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