John and Kathleen Treanor have always been physically active, but at ages 96 and 90 respectively, they’ve definitely slowed down a bit.
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In their youth, John played on a Gaelic football team, while Kathleen worked hard on a family farm. The two of them immigrated from Ireland and have lived in the Detroit, Michigan, area for most of their 68-year marriage.
The lovebirds have lived very full lives. They loved to go dancing at the local Gaelic League Irish Club, they quietly contributed to charities, and they were active in their church community.
In 1994, they saw an advertisement for Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, a “Catholic organization answering the Gospel call to minister to children and families in need.” Both Kathleen and John loved the idea of helping abused and neglected children, and they have been donating to the charity ever since.
During the novel coronavirus pandemic, their granddaughter Caitlin came to stay with them to help out. Having a young, active family member in the house gave John and Kathleen new incentive to get moving!
Caitlin recently participated in America’s Shamrock Run to raise money for Mercy Home. Her grandparents thought it was such a great idea that they decided to do their own part by walking. They set up a donation page to benefit Mercy Home, laced up their sneakers, and hit the pavement!
At 96, John promised to complete 5 kilometers over the course of several months. Kathleen aimed even higher, pledging 15 kilometers before she turned 90 in April. Every afternoon, Caitlin accompanied them as they walked a mile down their long driveway and back. She acted as their cheerleader and helped keep John stable because he uses a walker.
“Sometimes I make chalk drawings and pictures along the way to keep them going,” Caitlin said. “Words of encouragement like ‘good job’ and ‘Let’s go athletes!'”
Their hard work paid off. John and Kathleen were able to raise over $1,900 and counting for Mercy Home! Not only that, but they also feel more fit and spry than they have in years. They plan to continue their daily walks now that the charity drive is technically over.
At the end of the day, the Treanors are just glad to be able to help kids in need.
“When you’re helping children, you hope they remember you when they grow up,” John said. “It feels good.”
You’re never too young or old to help others! John and Kathleen have been champions of Mercy Home for years, and they’re not slowing down anytime soon.
Share this story to thank them for their kindness and hard work.
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