With the grace under pressure that epitomized his long tenure of service to the town of Malta, the Rev. Peter Klotz shared with his congregation at St. Peter Lutheran Church and with town officials news Sunday, Sept.23, that he will depart for the Dana Farber Center in Boston early next month to seek treatment for leukemia.
Klotz earned a resounding vote of confidence from the town's registered Republicans on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at the primary polls when he garnered the highest number of votes to be endorsed as a party candidate. That same day, Klotz and his wife, Ann, received the news of his diagnosis, although as yet, the exact type of the disease has not been conclusively identified.
Until specialists know for certain which form the illness has taken, Klotz's exact avenue of treatment remains open.
There are many different kinds of leukemia and which type I have is still not completely clear, said Klotz.
Doctors found anomalies in his blood counts in late August after doing lab work on Klotz for other minor, unrelated symptoms. Because the leukemia was caught early, chances for successful treatment are high.
"My doctors are using the word 'cure,'" said Klotz.
After arriving at the Dana Farber Center on Wednesday, Oct. 3, Klotz will be evaluated by teams of experts who will identify the type of leukemia and make recommendations for treatment. One of his options will likely be some of the new super drugs just off medical trials and showing very positive results. Another option may be a bone marrow transplant, for which Klotz may have a high enough count of healthy blood cells to serve as his own bone marrow donor. If a transplant is called for, physicians will begin looking for a bone marrow donor match. One of six siblings with a large extended family, Klotz said he feels confident a donor would be located among his relatives.