WASHINGTON-The National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association has issued an appeal for assistance on behalf of a dealer in Prescott Valley, Ariz., whose life and livelihood have been put at risk by a serious illness. Greg Cook and his wife, Carol, bought Covey Tire, a ``run-down,'' two-bay tire store in Prescott Valley in mid-1993, investing all they had managed to save during the 13 years Greg had worked as an auto service technician at a tire dealership in Burbank, Calif.
The goal was to move out of the Los Angeles area with their son Wade, now 12, and go into business for themselves.
With Greg, who is ASE-certified in brake and suspension service, in the shop and Carol in the office, the couple had begun to turn the business around.
But then in February 1995, Greg-then 38- was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that attacks the bones, bone marrow and blood. He has been unable to work since.
This form of cancer has no cure, but there is treatment, and those who undergo it have lived for up to seven years, the NTDRA said.
Greg was reluctant to proceed because of the huge debt it could leave his family. According to Carol, their private insurance will cover about $50,000 of the anticipated $120,000 cost of the treatment, which Greg began July 22.
Carol has continued to run the business, but has had to rent out one of the two service bays to a tune-up technician to cover business expenses.
Unsure where to turn, Carol wrote a letter explaining the family's situation to her son's former kindergarten teacher, Kathy Bobzin, wife of current NTDRA President Paul Bobzin, hoping Mr. Bobzin might bring it to the attention of others within the industry.
Mr. Bobzin, of La Canada Tire Center Inc. in La Canada, Calif., was only too happy to oblige.
``I've always thought of our industry as a family in many respects, and this is an opportunity for that family to pull together,'' Mr. Bobzin said. ``I urge those who can to answer the call for one of our own.''
A special account has been established at Bank of America for anyone who would like to help the Cooks at this difficult time. Donations can be made at any Bank of America branch by filling out a savings deposit slip in the name of Carol Cook, F.B.O. Gregory Cook, account number 238121507, and informing the teller that the account is in Arizona.
Checks may also be sent directly, made out to Carol Cook, F.B.O. Gregory Cook, and mailed to: Covey Tire, 6250 E. Highway 69, Prescott Valley, Ariz. 86314.