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Community Rallies Around Sheriff's Pilot with Cancer
HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio (Angela Ingram) -- A pilot with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is fighting a battle on two fronts: first with cancer and secondly with his insurance company.
Roger Hinkle was diagnosed with gastric cancer 2 years ago and now, another mass has been discovered. His colleagues say they're not about to let his insurance company defeat him.
Roger Hinkle didn't ask for any help, but when his friends learned his insurance company refused to pay for an operation that could potentially save his life, they immediately jumped in to help out.
Hinkle has flown the helicopter for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department for nearly 15 years. His missions have included everything from tracking down murderers to following suspects who've stolen kids' bikes.
Before becoming a pilot for the Sheriff's Department, he spent 14 years in the Marine Corps and retired with the rank of Captain. Now Hinkle is in the battle for his own life. With his family by his side, Hinkle made it through chemotherapy and surgery as he battled gastric cancer.
Then months later, doctors found a tumor on his liver. Hinkle is a candidate for surgery again, but his insurance won't pay for it.
Hinkle says the insurance company won't pay because the procedure is considered unproven or investigational. So his friends and coworkers are planning a benefit in his honor.
Hinkle surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday. He's not exactly sure how much it will cost, but his physician told him it could cost up to $100,000.
The benefit for Roger Hinkle begins at 6:30 Saturday night at the Woodlands Reception Hall at 9680 Cilley Road in Whitewater Township.
The cost is $25 per person. The benefit includes a silent auction and live music.
There is also a fund set-up for Hinkle. It is at the Cincinnati Police Credit Union under "Roger Hinkle Benefit".
Tax ID numbers are State 060329 and Federal 231283161 for tax credit purposes.