ELKHART — It started with what seemed like a common cold.
Sgt. Scott Hupp, 44, an officer who works for the Elkhart Police Department, had some slight coughing and chest discomfort on Dec. 21. Within 24 hours, he was having trouble catching his breath. Thinking he had pneumonia, his family took him to the emergency room.
“The plan was a quick trip to the ER, then home with some antibiotic and hopefully he would be feeling better by Christmas,” said his wife, Leah Hupp.
Following a chest X-ray and a CT scan, it was determined that the officer has a tumor in his chest. After a few more examinations, Scott Hupp was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a form of cancer that is commonly pediatric. This form of cancer is rarely found in adults. “
“The diagnosis was hard to hear,” Leah said. “Scott has hardly ever even had so much as a cold in the 12 years we have been together.”
Jan. 27 marks Scott’s 15-year anniversary of working with the Elkhart Police Department. Before that, he worked for eight years at the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department. He and Leah have five children: Ashley Hupp, 17; Taylor Hupp, 15; Bailey Baldwin, 15; Joelly Baldwin, 13; and Nathan Hupp, 13.
Scott is on a medical leave of absence, according to a letter filed by the Police Department to the Board of Public Safety.
Although fear and uncertainty have taken over the family’s overall feelings, Scott and Leah say the family is getting by with their faith and the support from the community.
Neighbors, fellow police officers and other members of the community have offered as much help as they possibly can, said Leah, including help with errands, financial support and meals.
“Our hearts are full of so much thankfulness and gratitude, at times it becomes overwhelming,” she said.
Since his diagnosis, Scott has already started his chemotherapy treatment. After a few cycles of the treatment, it will be determined whether surgery is an option or if he should continue with chemotherapy and radiation.
Members of the Fraternal Order of Police, Elkhart Lodge 52, are holding a benefit with the purpose of raising money for the Hupp family from 2 to 11 p.m. on Saturday at 1003 Industrial Parkway, Elkhart. Tickets are available for sale at the Elkhart Police Department, at 175 Waterfall Drive.
There will be food, a cash bar and live music at the event. Leah and Scott said they are planning on attending.
“I have known for a very long time just how special he is but apparently he has also made quite an impact on a lot of people in this community as well,” Leah said.
The FOP set up an account at Key Bank under the name of Sgt. Scott Hupp Cancer Fund, where donations can be deposited.