Jimmy Hanna, a beloved and longstanding fixture of the St. John’s University community needs our help. Jimmy is currently battling several severe illnesses, and although a strong and self-reliant warrior, needs our support if he is to get the help he needs to beat the odds and continue to be there for us.
Jimmy is the true American story. In 1974, he immigrated here from Cairo, Egypt, as a young teen. He began working at an early age, talking his way into a job at Barclay’s bank without even the benefit of a college education. And yet, the elusive dream for obtaining an outstanding American education never left him. For years, he worked tirelessly, saving enough money until in 1979 he was able to start matriculating at St. John’s University pursuing a degree in business. After completing his Bachelor’s degree, he continued on by working as a graduate assistant in the marketing program and earned a masters degree in international finance; this enabled him to blend his immigrant roots with his passion for business. Eventually, he would take all this educational training and take another bold step and start his own business in 1991, devoted to helping others save enough money for their children’s education and their retirement.
But Jimmy was not just all about dollars and cents. He embraced this country’s camaraderie and fellowship with all his heart, and in the same year he enrolled at St. John’s he joined and became an integral part of the university’s first ever soccer team (back then, soccer was still relatively new for American audiences). There, he made lifelong friends with his “blood brother” fellow players. No matter how successful he got, Jimmy always loved his time playing soccer especially with fellow “St. Johnsies,” so he tirelessly supported the team, raised money, cheered with the notably loudest voice in the crowd - even did cookouts for the team and onlookers. Perhaps, dearest to his heart, in 1996 he was honored for his charity and goodwill, by well respected coach Masur & the St. John’s Athletic Dept honored after their 1996 Championship win. Jimmy also served his community, as he was involved in Little Neck Douglaston Youth club for almost 2 decades –coaching soccer, mentoring, obtaining and allocating resources and served continuously to ensure the growth of the program.
Unfortunately, in the last few years, things took a turn for the worse with Jimmy. Suddenly out of nowhere, something undiagnosable happened to his heart. Problems continued to worsen until he heard the devastating news that he would need a heart transplant. Even worse, during the preliminary tests for this major operation, it was found he had cancer. Complications arose, severely debilitating this rock of man. Jimmy has struggled as valiantly as any warrior on the battlefield, but even the bravest fighter needs the love of his community to bolster his spirits, and the resources to fight their individual battle.
Jimmy currently requires extensive and expensive care and treatment if he is to recover and strengthen himself for the procedures and operations that await him. And he can’t do it alone. As he always has been there for our community, let us be there for him this time. Help him stay in the game, and please support him, so next year, he will be there for us, his three children and all that love him dearly.
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