My family and I are running the Richmond Marathon on November 10th to honor our close family friend, Joann Walker, who passed away this time last year from Pancreatic Cancer. Joann was an amazing woman and a great friend. We are raising a few dollars for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. My two sons (Drew and Jay Gaffney) are running the full marathon with me and we have several family / friends participating in the half marathon. We are so thankful for Joann’s influence on our family and community. Please pray for us as we train for and run the race, and if you can we are asking for any donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Follow the link below to donate on my Facebook page.
Below is an article that ran in our local publication: “Glenmore Life”.
“It started out with just a friendly invitation and challenge from his son Drew, who’s currently in his fourth year at UVA. Jeff figured it sounded like a good father-son activity, so he said, “Sure, I’ll do the half and meet you at the end.”
His wife and college sweetheart Motana did what every good partner does, which is to encourage their spouse to do even more but with a cause. The cause: If anyone could motivate one to be more and achieve more, it was Joann Snyder Walker. Joann passed on October of last year due to pancreatic cancer. However, her influence for good continues to this day and won’t stop for years to come thanks to her active and selfless life that she lived to the fullest.
She raised her two children but was also like a second mother to many more, including the Gaffney children. She had a positive impact on many groups and organizations, including Hospice of the Piedmont, Service Dogs of Virginia, The Jefferson Swim League, First Presbyterian, Women’s Faith Forum and many more! Athletically, she was a local champion in golf, tennis, volleyball and completed the Marine Corps marathon.
So, with the motivation to do the run in memory of his longtime family friend Joann, Jeff signed up for the full. He and his family are also organizing a team and have put together a fund to help find a solution to treat and/or cure pancreatic cancer. To participate, see the end of the article.
Personally, I had never met Jeff until we talked recently at a house he’s bringing on the market in Glenmore. Hearing about his longtime connection to the Charlottesville, UVA, and Glenmore communities was exciting!
Many of you have already had the pleasure of working with or serving with Jeff. But for those who haven’t, read on! In addition to being one of the most trusted, successful and appreciated Realtors in the area, he also was an All-American soccer player (class of 1987) at UVA. He remains the all-time leading scorer with the only retired jersey in the program’s history. He even crossed over as the kicker on the UVA football team and had a stint in the NFL.
Jeff began his real estate career with the late Frank A Kessler, Glenmore developer. He spent numerous hours in Glenmore before the first road or house were even built.
Now his energy is directed towards running Real Estate III as the CEO, managing the Workforce Housing Fund, hosting Everyday Faith, serving with the Cville Faith and Leadership Forum and being a supportive dad. Even if that entails bringing him to Virginia Tech to visit his daughter and run the Hokie Half-Marathon, which he’s doing in September.
If you want to donate to help the Gaffneys raise money for this cause, you can reach out to The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network or give Jeff a call. The marathon is in Richmond on November 10.
Jeff: Joanne and I played mixed doubles together for the Glenmore tennis team. She was always so encouraging and so positive. She would tell me again and again, “you got this.”
Jeff’s note: “If I was running this race for myself, there is no way I would do it. But to honor Joann and her family and what she has meant in the lives of so many people — it was a no-brainer. Joann was very strong in her faith, and we had many conversations about what it means to give what the scriptures call ‘a sacrifice of praise and a sacrifice of thanksgiving.’ And since I have to train every day for this race, this allows me to put this into practice. When I am tired and don’t feel like running, especially after a long day, I lace up my shoes, offer up thanksgiving for Joann’s influence on our lives and head out … and I feel Joann saying, ‘You can do this’.”
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer.