CLEVELAND — On July 10, Dr. Howard Tucker turned 101 years old, but he has no plans of slowing down. He says "retirement is the enemy of longevity."
He was teaching medical students at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, but when it ceased hospital operations last November, he knew he needed to find something else to do.
His grandson, Austin Tucker, is producing a documentary about him and, just after his grandfather's 100th birthday last year, started posting videos on TikTok to try and raise funds to finish the movie.
"I, along with my director/producer Taylor Taglianetti, have been producing the documentary 'What's Next?' over the past two years," Austin told us. "Taylor and I are honored to not only document the incredible history and changes in medicine and the brain my grandfather has witnessed over 75 years in practice, but believe the film will highlight the importance of investing in our seniors, who are so often overlooked yet have so much to contribute."
The social media accounts went viral, with over 37 million views on TikTok and close to 100,000 followers. Various outlets from around the world — most recently New Zealand — picked up the story and, according to Austin, sparked widespread conversation online about retirement, longevity, aging, and pursuing one's passion.
However, the Kickstarter campaign expires tomorrow, and without the funds, the movie may never be finished.
"Given my grandfather's age and that producing a feature film is a large undertaking in terms of both time and money, we have been funding the project out of pocket and with the help of a film grant up until this point," Austin said in an email. "In order to bring the film to life and cover the remaining editing, color correction, sound editing, archival fees, and licensing fees, we have launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. In exchange for a pledge/contribution, 'backers' can choose from a variety of rewards."
They only need $15,000 more to fulfill the Kickstarter campaign, which you can donate to here.
In addition to starring in the videos, Dr. Tucker also took a job at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, once again teaching students about the art of medicine. He has no plans to retire.
Watch out previous story about Dr. Howard Tucker: