Thomas C. Cain Memorial Scholarship
Thomas C. Cain never lost sight of how much it can mean to receive a helping hand. That’s why he decided, before his death from bone cancer in 1997, to lend a hand to medical students at the University of Iowa. Tom’s family honored his wish by establishing the Thomas C. Cain Memorial Scholarship Fund in thanks for all he received from his caregivers at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
“If we can help some young person ease suffering by pursuing medicine, we feel very good about that,” said Tom’s father, Thomas L. Cain.
Tom C.’s commitment to helping others stemmed from his father’s example. Tom L.—who owned one of the nation’s first McDonald’s franchises in Arlington, Illinois, where his son grew up—believes it is important to lend a hand whenever possible. “We all need help sometime in our lives,” he said. “Even I needed help getting started in business.”
Profits from this growing business enabled Tom C. to attend Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, where he studied business administration. Even as a high school student, Tom C. demonstrated a love for athletics that would eventually earn him positions on the basketball and football varsity squads in college. Despite the urging of his university coaches and instructors, Tom C. opted not to pursue a high-pressure career in coaching, choosing instead to join his parents as a restaurateur after graduating in 1977.
Tom C. remained active in sports throughout his life, working out often and taking time every day to participate in basketball games at the local YMCA. However, in 1997, nagging pain in his leg joints persuaded the athlete to see a doctor at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where tests revealed an aggressive cancer that gave him only weeks to live.
During those last difficult days, his father stayed near Tom C.’s side. “We so appreciate all the staff in the intensive care unit at the UI Hospitals,” he said. “They’re the reason we established this scholarship; we want to support the people who help patients like Tom.”
Congratulations on receiving the Thomas C. Cain Memorial Scholarship