TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Local man finds inspiration while dealing with cancer diagnosis

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Charlotte Smith
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 10:27 a.m.
 

Bob Pavuchak of Green Tree was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma in 2008, a form of cancer that affects only 300 males per year in the United States. He underwent seven months of chemotherapy, blood transfusions and a stem cell transplant. He was given a 15 to 20 percent chance to survive.

While he was in treatment, Pavuchak found it frustrating sometimes to do the most basic of activities. It was even difficult for him to take a shower, because of the catheter inserted in his arm designed for chemotherapy.

The frustration led Pavuchak to design something that would keep the catheter dry. While he was hospitalized, he showed his drawings to nurses and doctors. The product became the shower soc and the PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) soc.

Today, he is cancer-free with a medical device business.

“My story is one of survival. I want to tell people to be strong and keep dreaming,” Pavuchak said.

The soc is made from a lightweight plastic with an integrated band that helps secure the protection for the PICC line so as to keep it dry. The company sold more than 50,000 socs in 2013.

The waterproof covers work on casts and bandages for PICC lines and IVs, or elastic compression or tubular bandages, and have allowed patients to continue with their daily routines with minimal interruptions and inconvenience. Caregivers, urged on by their patients, have begun calling to see if they can sell the products wholesale with bulk pricing.

The first shower soc, made from plastic, was sold to UPMC in March 2011. Today, his products are available in 10 hospitals in Pittsburgh. Orders are coming in from Australia and England through online sale site Amazon UK.

The socs can be purchased through websites www.ppcustommedicalsupplies.com and www. picclinecoverprotector.com.

“Want it, will it, believe in yourself, and have faith,” Pavuchak said. “Make it happen and you can be the one to tell the next story of survival.”

For more information, visit the websites or call 412-564-4610.

Charlotte Smith is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media and can be reached at 724-693-9441 or charlotte59@comcast.net.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Carlynton

  1. Little Lions Academy makes classroom work fun in the summer
  2. Kiddie Academy to open in South Fayette this fall
  3. Speeders under the watchful eye of South Fayette police
  4. Collier rejects zoning change for townhomes
  5. New signs welcome motorists to Carnegie
  6. Oyler: Pa. rivers, precipitation enable us to enjoy water without worry
  7. Town Talk: Carnegie couple celebrates 50th wedding anniversary
  8. Musicians ready to perform at Teenage Takeover 3 in Bloomfield