June 19, 2014

Cancer benefit run Saturday for Hurst police officer

Hurst officer Cheryl Kovach is going through treatment for breast cancer for the second time in nine years, and her friends and co-workers are helping her with medical bills.

Since 2005, Cheryl Kovach’s days have been filled with treatment for breast cancer, from surgery to chemotherapy to radiation.

But the 23-year veteran of the Hurst Police Department isn’t alone in her struggles.

Hurst police and firefighters, along with family and friends, have united through the years to help Kovach, and they are at it again with Saturday’s Run for a Reason Cancer Benefit 5K.

The event, which also includes a 1-mile fun run for kids, will be at the Hurst Community Park, 601 Precinct Line Road.

Proceeds from the event will go to help Kovach pay hospital bills. Last year, organizers raised $20,000 in the first 5K run for Kovach.

“It’s awesome that these people would do this for me,” said Kovach, who is a graduate of L.D. Bell High School in Hurst. “I can’t thank people enough.”

Kovach began with the department as a patrol officer and her other duties through the years have included DARE officer, domestic violence officer, bicycle patrol and hostage negotiator.

In 2005, Kovach was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, and she had surgery to remove tumors and went through months of chemo and radiation therapy.

“It knocked me out for almost a year,” Kovach said.

With daily medication, Kovach went years without any trace of the cancer. But in February 2013, during a regular checkup, doctors discovered cancer in her lungs and diagnosed it as Stage IV breast cancer.

Stage IV means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, most often the bones, lungs, liver, or brain, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Kovach has been treating her resurgence of cancer with more medications.

“On my last checkup, the cancer was shrinking,” she said. “But I’ve had quite a bit of the side effects such as pneumonia and shingles.”

Help for Kovach has come from the Hurst Police Officer Association and Hurst Fire Association, which are sponsoring the Saturday event.

“It is set up to benefit Hurst first responders in the event that one of them is hurt or fallen ill,” said Hurst detective Jacob Eubanks, vice president of the association. “This event will continue to be held annually.”

As for Kovach’s future. She remains on light duty with the department.

“We continue to fight,” Kovack said. “There will be bumps in the road, but we keep going.”

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