To All concerned:
Officer Paul Covert is 32 years old and works for the Massillon City Police Department. He has a wife Tracy, and a daughter, Sarah. Sarah is approaching her first birthday.
On February 27th, 2000, Officer Covert left work with a severe pain located under his arm. When he arrived home, he and his wife Tracy discovered a large mass under the arm. An appointment was made with his physician. The physician originally diagnosed the mass as a cyst caused by a rib muscle tear or possible infection. Antibiotics were prescribed with negative results. The mass was still there. Surgery was scheduled for March 1st, 2000 to remove the cyst.
On March 10th, Paul was told that the initial diagnosis was incorrect. After further examination of the tissue, it was discovered that the mass was a malignant tumor. The subcutaneius cells were found to be abnormally divided without control, causing a large "cyst". Doctors were unable to decide on a course of treatment. Paul's case was rare in that he did not meet all of the protocols for melanomas.
Initially, melanomas do not start internally. They appear on the skin in the form of a mole, mutate, and then metastasize from the original tumor to form new tumors in other parts of the body. The tumor removed from Paul was considered a satellite and the primary tumor has not yet been located. Overall survivability is determined by the location of the satellite in relation to the primary. This relation is not known in Paul's case. It is known that the melanoma has spread to a nearby lymph basin. This spreading categorizes the cancer as metastic melanoma, stage III. Prognosis for metastic melanoma in stage III is a reoccurance in 1.8 to 2.6 years.
Paul's current treatment is Intron-A. This is a type of immunotherapy given in high doses that is purported to increase the time of reoccurance to the higher range of 2.6 years. The treatment started in September and will last one year.
There are other treatments available if a reoccurance does appear. If and when this should happen, Paul can receive specialty care in Australia where the treatment has already been approved.
The Massillon F.O.P. Henderson Lodge 105, friends, family, and co-worker will be holding a benefit dinner / dance at St. George's Greek Orthodox church in Massillon on March 10th, 2001. If you can not attend, all contributions can be made to the Covert Family Cancer Fund. Contributions can be sent to:
F.O.P. Henderson Lodge 105
P.O. Box 1231
If you have any questions contact:
Jill Peel, Committee Chairman
William Cherry, President, Henderson Lodge
Sgt. Chuck Maier, Vice President, Henderson Lodge
Thanks To All and God Bless.