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.
Local businesses in both Richmond Hill and Savannah are jumping in to support it.
The race will benefit Cain, a sergeant with the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, a Richmond Hill resident who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Cain gained international recognition when he helped an injured runner, Robert McCoy, who had fallen, 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 media 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 has pancreatic cancer.
Love’s Seafood and Steaks restaurant was the first to support the race, pledging at the Platinum level. Donna and Fulton Love are friends of the Cain family.
“Love’s Seafood and Steaks is so excited to be the title sponsor to help one of our own,” Donna Love said. “Not only is John one of our own, but has gone beyond his profession of serving and protecting us. It is now time for us to try and help protect him with all we can.”
Cain’s daughter, Shania, began a campaign to raise funds to help pay for his treatments, establishing a Go Fund Me link. The goal was $200,000, and so far over $33,000 have been raised. The link is: www.gofundme.com/ukhtgr8c
Two other businesses have come on as Platinum sponsors, Coastal Empire Plastic Surgery and Circa Lighting of Savannah.
Cain’s sister, Stacy Armstrong, works for the Coastal Empire Plastic Surgery and said she was excited that her company wanted to be a part of the race.
Joining the sponsorship list at the Silver level is Chu’s Market of Richmond Hill. Rick Pruden, market owner, said he proud to support Cain and his family. Sandra Elliott, owner of Georgia Game Changes Running Co., has offered a challenge in to raise funds before the race. She is dedicating all of her miles run in March to Cain, and then donating a $1 for each mile. She has more than 60 miles, so far.
“I am hoping others will join me in this challenge, as well as signing up for the 5K race in April, Elliott said. “We hope to get the Richmond Hill and other local police officers to join the race and challenge each other as well.”
Cain said, “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. With the upcoming race, we hope to raise enough money to help with medical bills and other expenses.”
He said money not used in for his treatment will be donated of my cancer, will be given to the fight pancreatic cancer.
One of his sons, Jake Cain said, “We are thankful that so many sponsors are supporting the race and that Georgia Game Changers volunteered to put this race together.”
A postrace party and awards ceremony will be held at the Richmond Hill running store.
Race registration is at www.savannahraces.com. Call Georgia Game Changers for more information at 912-445-2163. Packet pick up will be at JF Gregory Park prior to the race on April 8.