Going the distance for Hospice of the Carolina Foothills

Published 9:44 am Friday, September 6, 2013

Tina and Michael Kearney running a marathon together. (photos submitted)

Tina and Michael Kearney running a marathon together. (photos submitted)

On Sunday, Oct. 27, one runner in the Marine Corps Marathon will chase a goal far beyond the finish line.

Illinois family medicine physician, Tina Kearney, will dedicate the 26.2-mile course that winds in and around Washington D.C. to the memory of her uncle, Jim Kearney, a Landrum resident who passed away unexpectedly in March.

Because Jim was a devoted Hospice of the Carolina Foothills volunteer, Tina is also running for a cause — to raise money that will directly support Hospice. Her goal is $3,000 in donations, $1,500 of which will benefit Hospice of the Carolina Foothills (HoCF), with the other half supporting the National Hospice Foundation.

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Tina talks about her uncle’s commitment to HOCF and what he meant to their family.

“One of the last conversations I had with Uncle Jim, about 10 days before he passed away, was about his work there. I was asking him what he was doing with all his time in retirement,” she said. “He told me all about the things they did with Hospice of the Carolina Foothills. He was passionate about the work there, in addition to his Lion’s Club activities.”

Jim and his wife, JoAnn, moved to Landrum after 40 years living in Tombstone, Ariz. They were both hospice volunteers, and JoAnn continues to give her time to the organization.

Jim made a big impact on this large family.

“He was our gentle giant; our song leader; our Tombstone Cowboy. He was always there with a hug. Usually a man of few words; I never heard him speak ill of another person. He was the master at loving people through their faults. He was strong, faith-filled,” she said, “He gave most of us our first pony-rides and taught us Irish drinking songs. He captivated us all. He is missed dearly.”

She describes Jim as being laid-back in all things, except one.