Savannah, GA (WSAV) – A local police sergeant whose compassion captured hearts across the nation at a race in November, is now battling a challenge of his own.
Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan PD’s Sgt. John Cain was caught helping a struggling cancer survivor cross the finish line after he collapsed on the pavement while running the Rock n Roll Half-marathon last year.
Back then Sergeant Cain told News 3 he would have carried that runner to the finish line if he had to.
Now, just two months later, Cain’s colleagues are calling on the community to help carry Cain through a race of his own he never saw coming.
For 27 years Sergeant John Cain’s worked to protect and serve the people in and around Savannah.
But it wasn’t until this past November– the city, and the nation got a glimpse at the character Cain’s colleagues say they see every day.
“He is an amazing man, he’s such a great guy,” Detective Allison Nichols said.
Hundreds of thousands of people were touched by the kindness of the man in the uniform helping a determined cancer survivor cross the finish line at the Rock n Roll half-marathon.
Now, members of the sergeant’s police family find themselves sharing a sad story of irony.
The man in uniform, Sgt. Cain, just learned he has pancreatic cancer and he needs help in his race that’s bound to have some hurdles.
“It was heartbreaking,” Detective Nichols said of learning about Cain’s diagnosis. “I mean, literally it brought me to tears to hear that such a great guy was diagnosed with something like this, especially after he had just made national news from helping the runner who had recovered from cancer,” she added.
Thursday officers added a touch of purple to their blue, ribbons representing their support for Cain who’s now out of work, receiving treatment and hoping for surgery soon. Some of his expenses won’t be covered by insurance.
“He’s keeping a good attitude,” Nichols said. “He’s doing his best to remain strong to overcome this – he’s determined to win this fight.”
Cain has his crew rooting for him. Besides their financial support and wearing the symbolic ribbons, the officers are organizing – of all things— a run next month.
They’ll call it “Heroes for a Hero; because after all, the way this story started was one hero helping another.
“I believe that Sgt. Cain has the same mentality and same attitude, he’s not going to give up and just lay there and call it quits,” Advanced Police Officer Brian Smith said. “He’s going to finish the race. So it’s our time as a community to come together pick him up and finish the race with him as well,” he added.
The purple ribbons aren’t just for police. If you’d like to make a donation toward Sgt. Cain’s medical expenses and get ribbons, just stop by police headquarters on Habersham Street or any Savannah-Chatham Metro Police precinct.