Fundraiser to benefit Holland doctor

Published 11:51 am Friday, October 3, 2014

By Tracy Agnew/Suffolk News Herald
Special to The Tidewater News

The community of Holland will pull together this weekend to help someone who has been helping them for many years.

Dr. Julian McKenney, who says he’s the only doctor not only in Holland, but in the entire 23437 ZIP code, said he is embarrassed but humbled by the outpouring of attention.

“I guess the only thing I can say is I’m humbled by the tremendous outpouring from the community,” McKenney said.

The doctor has been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, which landed him in the hospital for 15 days — seven of them in the intensive care unit — back in August.

He’s now on treatment that seems to be working, he said, and still is caring for patients from his office on South Quay Road.

After everything he’s done for the community, locals Jason Fanny and Jason Swain said they wanted to do something for him.

“He’s helped everybody in Holland so much, it’s time to help him,” Fanny said. “He’s the only doctor I’ve ever met in my life that legitimately cares about his patients. You can’t find that anymore.”

Fanny said McKenney has been known to take discounted payments because “a lot of people in Holland don’t have a lot of money, and he knows that.”

Jason Swain is helping arrange the entertainment for Sunday’s fundraiser. He said McKenney “bent over backwards” during his parents’ illnesses.

“We want to do whatever we can do to help,” Swain said. “His selflessness has put him in this position, kind of.”

Sunday’s fundraiser will be held at the Hog Pen restaurant, 6713 S. Quay Rd., from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Donations will be taken at the door, and entertainment, a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle will be featured.

“I certainly will be there, and I hope my face won’t be too red,” McKenney said. “I don’t like fanfare, but it’s nice to know you do have a couple friends out there.”