I would like to step out of the Cornerpost for a moment to share a touching story about the personal journey of a good friend of Retail Alliance, Tom Kinerk, owner of Jeness Uniforms.
Tom was very active on our Legislative Committee; thoughtful, insightful and a tremendous advocate for retailers. Like most retailers, throughout his career, Tom was a hard worker and committed to his business, spending countless hours operating his six stores. On our commutes to Williamsburg for legislative committee meetings, Tom would share his upcoming plans for vacation adventures with his wife of 44 years, Charli.
Two years ago, Tom began his well-earned journey into retirement. Unfortunately, last fall Tom was diagnosed with cancer; evidently this was his second bout and this time the news wasn’t so good; giving him months, not years. Sadly the treatment up to this point could not stem the rapid growth of his tumors nor the spread of the cancer into Tom’s lymph nodes. With the knowledge of limited time, they made plans to sell the company, house, and return to their hometown in Kansas City.
A couple of weeks ago, Tom and Charli had yet another oncologist appointment. This time Tom was in a wheelchair and in so much pain that they were wondering how they were going to make it through each day. However, during this particular visit, the doctor determined that Tom was improving and had hopes that a new chemo drug recently administered was working. A CT scan and additional tests revealed that one of Tom’s tumors had grown significantly and was pushing on nerves, causing terrible pain; however, the rest of the tumors had miraculously shrunken.
Just recently, they were informed by their doctor that the new “trial” drug is in fact working and they can begin less evasive treatments; miracles really do happen. As a result the pain has decreased dramatically and the Kinerk’s have been given a new lease on life. Charli and Tom are now planning to travel to Kansas City and celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary.
We would like to recognize their hard work, investment and involvement in the Hampton Roads community, thank them for their support of Retail Alliance and the retail industry, and wish them many more years of happiness!