February fundraiser set to benefit Jimmy Moore

COUNTY — Shortly before Christmas, oncology physicians from both Vanderbilt and Duke University medical centers told Jimmy “Tiger Jim” Moore to go home and enjoy the remaining time he had left to live with his family — his wife Robyn, children John and Nicole and four granddaughters.
The aggressive cancer on his head, first diagnosed as squamous cell carcinoma, had returned with a vengeance it seemed — despite multiple surgeries, seven weeks of chemotherapy and seven radiation treatments that had eradicated the diseased cells only weeks earlier.
The cancerous cells on his head invaded approximately 30 lymph nodes, all of which required surgical removal.
With a grim six-month prognosis, Jimmy and Robyn Moore did return home to share Christmas surrounded by the love, encouragement and prayers of family and friends. Anyone who knows Jimmy and Robyn Moore would not be the least bit surprised to find out that their fight for life did not end here.
On Monday, January 24, Jimmy and Robyn traveled to Atlanta, where they boarded a plane destined for Houston, Texas. On February 1, Moore will undergo radical cancer surgery at M.D. Anderson Medical Center, followed by at least five weeks worth of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Anyone who has needed medical care in the recent past — be it preventative or emergent — knows that health care costs have continued to be exorbitant. Needless to say, Moore’s medical treatment, examinations, consultations, surgeries and specialists exceeds ordinary health care expenditures.
In an effort to give back to Moore, a man who has dedicated his life to helping others throughout Pickens County, friends and family members decided to join forces and plan a fundraiser in honor and support of “Tiger Jim.” Rock Springs Baptist Church graciously offered their gymnasium to house the event.
Tickets to the Saturday, Feb. 19, BBQ Fundraiser, which begins at 11 a.m. and lasts until 4 p.m., are available for advanced sale at various locations throughout Pickens County — including Walker’s Furniture and Jimmy’s Restaurant — or through Tommy Keef at 908-2730. BBQ plates will be sold for $10 per plate, and other opportunities for donation will be available at the event.
BBQ seems a fitting fundraiser for Moore. In addition to the countless hours he spends as a board member, volunteer and advocate for the Pickens County Guardian Ad Litem program, Moore also participates in Easley’s BLWS each spring as organizer and head chef for the little league teams, parents and attendees.
“If you’ve ever enjoyed a meal at the BLWS, chances are Jimmy has cooked it,” said Keef, Moore’s brother-in-law.
Keef and Moore share the bonds of family and friendship, and together they host UFO: Upstate Facts and Opinions with “Carolina Tom” and “Tiger Jim,” a radio show on WCCP 104.9 FM. Keef describes Moore as a spirited fighter and a man who isn’t one to give up. Moore, one might say, has a lot of heart — which is true in more ways than one.
According to Keef, Moore is currently the longest living heart transplant recipient in the U.S. Approximately 25 years ago, he was the fourth individual to receive a heart transplant at Vanderbilt University.
“Jimmy always said God gave him a second chance at life that day,” said Keef. “From that day forward, he dedicated his life to God and to helping others. He has truly put his life in God’s hands.”
While life after a transplant is not always easy, Moore makes the most of every day.
Robyn, Moore’s wife for 36 years, said her husband is a huge supporter of life-saving organ donation and transplantation.
“Jimmy has been asked to speak to families and children about organ donation and transplants,” she said. “It is always a great opportunity for him to share his testimony with others. He has ridden his bike across the state of Tennessee three times to raise money for organ procurement programs, and he has competed in multiple triathlons.”
Jimmy and Robyn were married at the age of 17. Following his heart transplant, Robyn said she and Jimmy’s family wanted to keep him in a bubble to protect him. After a while, she learned to treat him like any other woman would treat her husband.
“I don’t treat Jimmy like an invalid,” she said. “He does not want to be treated like that.”
It does not appear that Moore allows many things to slow him down. He is an active member in his church. He serves children and families throughout Pickens County through Prevent Child Abuse programs. Until he suffered a shattered knee cap while apprehending a suspect at Clemson University, Moore was an officer with the University Police Department.
Moore has an amazing spirit and an unfaltering faith, but he is still human.
“Of course there are times when we have our pity parties,” said Robyn. “Then you have to pull yourself up by the boot straps and keep going.”
What keeps Jimmy and Robyn going is their Christian faith.
“Our whole focus in life is Jesus and the blessings we receive through every trial. God never gives us more than we can handle and He always brings us through,” said Robyn.
Jimmy and Robyn Moore are in Houston preparing for one of the greatest fights of their lives. Cancer can be a stubborn opponent; however, both Jimmy and Robin believe in miracles and that, with faith in God, nothing is impossible.
From friends and community in Pickens County, there is an out-pouring of love and prayer for Moore and his family. Whatever happens, Robyn said Jimmy believes he is a winner either way.
Again, anyone interested in supporting the BBQ Fundraiser for Jimmy Moore can do so by calling Tommy Keef at 908-2730.