The romance between Seth Luker and Allison Schneider-Luker was akin to a classic love story — “I don’t know how to tell you this, but you’re going to be the woman I marry,” was one of the first things Seth said to Allison when they met in 2007.
Although she knew his health was precarious — he was in remission from colon cancer, which was diagnosed in 2005 — Schneider-Luker was committed to him. They married in 2009 after moving to Bellmore.
Luker’s cancer returned in 2016, though, and he died on Dec. 22, at age 40. He leaves behind Rockin’ Wellness, a business offering nutritional and organic supplements, run by his wife. Through his adversities, he never stopped spreading positivity, his friends and family said.
Luker, a Texas native, played football for the University of North Texas, where he earned a degree in finance. He later became the tour manager for a band called Submersed, in which his brother Kelan played bass.
The group would take Luker to several venues throughout Texas, including a club in Nashville where Schneider-Luker — then just Allison Schneider —was enjoying a girls’ weekend. The two hit it off.
They spent hours talking, Schneider-Luker recalled. Luker warned her about his bout with cancer — “Are you sure you want to get to know me?” he asked.
“Absolutely,” she said.
They began dating, and six months later, Luker’s cancer returned and metastasized to his liver. He underwent chemotherapy on Long Island while staying with Schneider-Luker in her Merrick home. They moved to a condo in Bellmore in 2009.
At the time, the “superfood revolution” was raising awareness of balanced and healthy diets that use all-natural, organic ingredients. Luker began to use goji berry pills, yerba mate powder, cocoa beans and more to improve his health. Soon after, he combined the ingredients into one shake full of supplements.
That simple idea grew into Rockin’ Wellness. The couple worked “in sync,” Schneider-Luker said, selling organic shake mixes that boosted energy while supporting a healthy lifestyle.
Although his health improved, Luker’s fertility seemed to be compromised after chemotherapy. Schneider-Luker was also nearing 40, making the prospects of having a child slim, she said. Seemingly by miracle, though, she said, she became pregnant.
In May 2012, Nash Luker — named after the town in which they met — was born. But only seconds after being presented to his parents, Nash was whisked away by doctors. “We only had a moment of peace,” Schneider-Luker said. A tumor on the baby’s right side was rhabdomysarcoma, a form of childhood cancer. Nash underwent weeks of surgeries, MRIs and chemotherapy.
Months later, Hurricane Sandy flooded the Lukers’ Bellmore home, but her husband was determined to remain positive, Schneider-Luker said.
Nash is now a healthy 6-year-old. “Every time I looked into his eyes,” Luker told the Herald in 2016, “I saw a little boy that was full of life. I could think nothing else but that everything was OK.”
“Seth pushed you to get the best out of you, no matter how difficult of a thing he was up against,” said longtime friend Bob Wargo. “He was such a strong force.”
Luker left that impression on others throughout his life. He frequented the UFC Gym of Long Island, where he promoted his business and made friends. He sponsored fighter Chris Cope and mentored him in entrepreneurship. “When I visited him in the hospital about four days ago,” Cope wrote on Facebook, “I tried to provide him with motivation, to keep him fighting the good fight, and he was on board. He was in such great spirits that I thought, ‘He was going to be fine, and he would beat cancer once again.’
“As I left the hospital room, he told me that he loved me, and I rubbed his head, saying that I loved him, too,” Cope continued. “I never realized that that would be the last time I would ever see him.”
A memorial post for Luker on Rockin’ Wellness’s Facebook page was flooded with memories of his positivity.
“He taught me courage. He taught me how to face my fears. He taught me how to laugh at myself again. He taught me to accept myself. Seth will be in my heart forever,” one wrote.
“Seth was a true pioneer in health and wellness who made everyone around him a more positive, capable individual,” fighter Gareth Hoernel wrote.
When Luker spoke to the Herald in 2016, he recalled the family’s struggles and his refusal to give up. “Usually it’s when you’re in the midst of a hurricane that you have to be the most calm and still,” he said.
In addition to his wife and son, Luker is survived by his parents, Alan and Diane Luker, and his siblings, Kelan and Scarlett.
In his honor, the family encourages donations to the Norman J. Levy Lakeside School PTA in Merrick.