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Cancer in the Rearview Mirror: Leo’s Story

Louisiana native and world traveler credits home test kit for potentially “saving my life.”

Leo Kovel on his motorcycle

Leo’s Story

  • Leo Kovel completed an in-home test kit and was notified of an abnormal test result.
  • A colonoscopy discovered Leo had early-stage colon cancer, but after a successful surgery, he is now cancer-free.
  • In-home test kits are a quick and convenient way to stay up-to-date on your preventive health screenings.

Leo Kovel has traveled to 6 continents, 25 countries and 34 states. But the 66-year-old says his most life-altering experience happened in the comfort of his Louisiana home.

In November 2018 Leo opened his mailbox to find a colorectal cancer screening test kit proactively sent to him by Humana.

As many people do, he sat the test kit aside the mail, with plans to get to it later. A month later, cleaning his house, Leo noticed it again on his kitchen counter.

Leo said he hadn’t paid close attention to the kit at first because he’d had a colonoscopy in the past.

“But I opened it up and the directions were very easy to use,” Leo said. “So by the grace of God, I sent it in.”

When Leo’s test came back, it showed blood in his stool, an indicator of colon cancer. That result encouraged Leo to make an appointment with his doctor and get a colonoscopy, even though it was 5 years before his next scheduled exam.

The colonoscopy confirmed he had colon cancer.

Leo had surgery in 2019 to remove the cancerous area. Thankfully, since his cancer was caught early, he was able to avoid other costly and invasive treatments that can have considerable side effects, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Today, Leo remains in remission.

He retired in 2012 from a petrochemical service company, a position that took him all over the world. Today Leo’s whirlwind schedule includes riding motorcycles cross-country, spending time with friends and family, and rooting for the LSU Tigers and New Orleans Saints.

"My health is 100%," said Leo, during a Harley-Davidson getaway from his Bush, Louisiana home to Oklahoma.

“I believe God had something to do with sending me that kit,” Leo exclaimed. “It caught what I had just in time. You guys saved my life.” *

“I believe God had something to do with sending me that kit. It caught what I had just in time. You guys saved my life.”

At Humana, our members’ health and well-being is our top priority.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, as a way to help our members stay up-to-date on their health screenings without leaving their homes, Humana is providing in-home preventive health screening kits to eligible Humana Medicare members based on their health needs. These screenings may help identify health problems early, which could be better for a person’s overall health. They are being provided at no additional cost to our members that qualify clinically for the test.

If you receive one of these screenings, we kindly ask you to return it as soon as possible. Your sample is time-sensitive. If you haven’t received an in-home test kit, please check with your doctor to determine the preventive screenings that are right for you.

Providing you with an easy and safe way to continue to manage your health is one of many actions we are taking to better your healthcare experience. At Humana, we call it human care.