Cassie Kehl, co-owner of Rudy’s Tacos in Davenport on Elmore, is fighting for her life. Friends and family are planning a fundraiser Sunday afternoon, Feb. 20 in downtown Rock Island to help pay her medical expenses.

When Cassie and Michael Kehl discovered that she had a 6-centimeter brain tumor in January 2021, both their worlds were shaken. After meeting with doctors in Iowa City, her surgery was scheduled in March 2021 and she planned to be out for six weeks to heal, according to a recent release. What transpired after that was something they were not prepared for.

Cassie had a stroke during the surgery and since that time, she’s been paralyzed on her left side, and has undergone a total of five complicated surgeries and five continuous months in rehab hospitals. She still must undergo radiation to lessen the size of the tumor that remains. She has defied her diagnosis and is slowly regaining her ability to walk and is on her road to healing. All while maintaining an amazing, positive attitude.

Due to the complications, Cassie has been deemed unable to work for the rest of her life. Both Cassie and Michael were tested again when their livelihood, Rudy’s Tacos at 3944 Elmore Ave., Davenport, caught on fire on Sept. 28, 2021. The business has been temporarily closed since the fire as they work through the rebuild process. The restaurant is scheduled to reopen in March.

“On behalf of Cassie and Michael Kehl, their closest friends, and the entire Kehl family, we appreciate the outpouring of love, prayers, and support shown over the past year and undoubtedly, in the months to come,” says the release from close friend Beth Payne.

“Cassie Kehl and her husband Mike are the most humble, kind, and generous people that I am lucky to know,” Payne wrote on a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family. “They are hardworking and think of everyone else ahead of themselves. Countless people, including myself, have been a benefactor of their kindness and generosity. They have never asked for anything they could not do themselves. They have always been there to lean on in good times and in bad.”

“I truly believe that all the good that Cassie and Mike have done for others will come back to them now,” Payne wrote. “It’s their turn to rely on the kindness of others to help them through this very rough time.”

A fundraiser is scheduled to assist the Kehl family with their medical expenses. It will be held Feb. 20th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at The Iconic Event & Reception Venue, 1725 2nd Ave., Rock Island. A taco meal will be served at $10/person and Rock N Roll Bingo will be offered at $10/card. A basket raffle will also be offered.

Any donation would be greatly appreciated. All funds raised will go directly to Cassie’s medical costs. All are welcome to attend. A Facebook event page has been set up for the fundraiser HERE.

For those that wish to contribute electronically, a GoFundMe page has also been set up HERE. As of Monday, Feb. 14, $5,190 has been raised toward a $25,000 goal.