The Sgt. John Cain Comeback Charity Challenge 5K is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 8, at J.F. Gregory Park in Richmond Hill, according to race directors Sandra and Ron Elliott of Georgia Game Changers Running Company.
The race will benefit Cain, an officer with the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department and a Richmond Hill resident who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Cain gained attention when he helped a local injured runner, Robert McCoy, across the finish line of the 2015 Savannah Rock and Roll Half Marathon in November. The photos, video and story were picked up by national and international TV stations, and images of the two crossing the finish line went viral.
In December, Cain went to the emergency room with severe pain, and it was there he found out he had cancer.
His daughter, Shania, began a campaign to raise funds to cover the cost of the treatments, establishing a GoFundMe link. The goal was $200,000, and so far more than $33,000 has been raised.
The link is www.gofundme.com/ukhtgr8c
“I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of prayers and support in both the communities of Bryan and Chatham counties, since I began dealing with this illness,” Cain said. “With the upcoming race, we hope to raise enough money to help with medical bills and other expenses.
“Any money not used in the treatment of my cancer will be given to the Pancreatic Cancer Research Center,” he added.
Sandra Elliott has offered a challenge in order to raise additional funds prior to the race. She is dedicating all of her miles run this month to Cain, and then donating $1 per mile for each mile run to the GoFundMe cause.
“I am hoping others will join me in this challenge, as well as signing up for the 5K race in April. We hope to get the Richmond Hill and other local police officers to join the race and challenge each other as well,” she said.
The race logo came about as a joint effort between Elliott’s daughter, Amanda, and Richmond Hill resident Jacy Vergara, who took a pen drawing from Amanda and turned it into the final logo.
The logo represents not only Cain’s dedication to the Police Department, but also his battle to beat his cancer.
Cain’s family — his sons, George and Jake; daughter, Shania; sister, Stacy; and wife, Carmen — joined him to kick off the event on Monday at Game Changers.
The after party and awards ceremony will be held at Georgia Game Changers Running Company in Richmond Hill.
The charity challenge is to get runners and walkers to donate their logged March running or walking miles to Cain and raise money to match their miles.
Race registration will be on www.savannahraces.com this week. For more information, call Georgia Game Changers at 912-445-2163.