Creekview High School senior Josh Cook and his cousin, Justin Page, decided the high school student should make his senior project about helping his mom, Gina Cook, in her fight against Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.
Using a Bible verse from 2 Timothy, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith,” for inspiration, the 5K Race to Recovery Saturday in downtown Canton has as its theme “Faith. Fight. Finish.”
Registration begins at 7 a.m. and the race starts at 8 a.m. The cost is $35 for adults and $15 for youth ages 5 to 12.
Already, the group has raised $16,000 for the cause and hopes the community will come out and help them reach their goal of $20,000.
“I have always been someone who feels like if there is a way to take care of things, I would do it myself, but I can’t do something about my mother,” Josh Cook said. “The money being raised here will be used for her care and to give to organizations who support ALL. I feel this was a way I could help her. This would have a purpose and a good meaning for my senior project.”
Gina Cook was diagnosed with ALL last September and is a preschool teacher at Child’s Play Early Learning Center in Canton.
Her son says the outpouring of support for the race shows what a great community they live in.
“Mom grew up in Cherokee County her whole life, and the way the support has been for this lets us know that Canton has gotten a lot bigger, but it still has that small town feel that if you need someone, they will be there,” the high school senior said.
Josh said about 200 people signed up for the race, and they expect more to sign up on the day. They hope to have 250 and there are 200 signed up so far.
For Page, the battle against the disease is something he was involved in even before his aunt was diagnosed.
In 2009, he organized a softball tournament in Woodstock to raise funds for a walk to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the two-mile Light the Night Walk.
He said at the time the cause was just something he felt strongly about but was not personally involved. He said he just felt it in his heart.
“Now over four years later, I think I understand and can see that God was preparing our family to face this terrible disease,” Page said. “It’s almost as if God is rewarding my efforts back in 2009 and now that this has hit home and my aunt is in need of help, seems like people are just being so kind and opening their hearts.”
The race will start at 151 Elizabeth St. near the gazebo and Cannon Park.
For those who would like more information on how to participate, a Facebook page is available called “Faith Fight Finish-Gina Cook’s Race to Recovery,” or visit runsignup.com.