April 5, 2012
Friends and Supporters of Us TOO,
I am so saddened to share with you that we learned Fred Gersh passed away this morning, April 5th. Fred’s wife Micki shared the following in an email:
"He had a long fight with the prostate cancer and I think in a way you could say he won since it has been 23 years since he was diagnosed. But he became ill 2 1/2 weeks ago, and after a stint at the hospital, he came home Tuesday to hospice care. He struggled to the end, but he looked peaceful after. And at least he is no longer in pain. Thanks to all of you for your friendship and support."
Fred facilitated the Us TOO Alexandria, VA prostate cancer support group at Inova Alexandria Hospital for approximately 18 years, and was the Us TOO Regional Director for Washington, DC and the surrounding area. He represented Us TOO as a member of the CLC (Cancer Leadership Council) and OVAC (One Voice Against Cancer). Fred also represented Us TOO as a committee member of the Veterans Health Council, and as a Vietnam Veteran, he often spoke passionately about the impact of Agent Orange.
I knew Fred very well and worked with him closely as a volunteer advocate, and as a working group member last year when he was a key contributor to the “Principles for Managing Prostate Cancer” booklet which is a core piece of Us TOO’s Advanced Disease Kit. He was dealing with the impact of his chemo treatments during that period and he drafted a very helpful Special Supplement document on Taste Issues which many will benefit from, I am sure.
I am very pleased and so honored that we chose to present to Fred the Outstanding Advocate Award at Us TOO's 20th Anniversary Meeting in Chicago in 2010. Looking back, I still see the smile that was on his face that evening and recall the origami art he made for the auction that night, as well as the blue ribbon earrings he crafted.
Simply put, I loved Fred, admired his giving personality and frankly, his never ending commitment to fighting this disease. I will always remember his comments about the importance of hope for all of us. As we learn more information, we will pass it along.
I speak for everyone at Us TOO when I say our prayers and best wishes go out to Fred's family and friends during this time of sorrow. He was a man of inspiration.
President & CEO
Us TOO International
Downers Grove, IL 60655
Toll Free: 800-808-7866