Bill Blair -
Shirley Grey- 
Chuck Maack - 
Jack Pias - 
Harry Pinchot - 
Stan Rosenfeld -
Ralph Valle
Bill Blair - Us TOO Mets Mavericks, Don Johnson Chapter, IL

“Thank god for Bill Blair says it substantially better than I can”, says Harvey Orlov from the Don Johnson Chapter. Bill chairs on a monthly basis the “Mets Mavericks” group of men at The Don Johnson Prostate Cancer Support Group. This group was founded by Bill and is specifically for men with advanced PCa and or rising PSA to help them through those difficult times. Though Bill’s health is of great concern to all that know and respect him, he still always has time for others and is committed to continue learning and teaching everything he can about PCa and helping to find a cure.

Bill Blair willingly and compassionately used his vast knowledge and expertise in all aspects of PCa to help men evaluate their conditions and guide them through their journey with PCa shares Cliff Whall from Naperville. Bill is a strong advocate for speeding up the process of translating basic research findings to clinical treatment modalities. He has single handedly succeeded in increasing the knowledge of many physicians in the Chicago area, and even across the nation, about how to understand, think about and treat PCa. It is only fitting that he should be honored for his all-encompassing devotion to the cause of supporting prostate cancer patients says Robert Cobb. Bill is a Renaissance Man and beloved humanitarian and is irreplaceable in the entire Prostate Cancer Community. He is a mentor and friend to many and is readily available to anyone who calls him, or needs advice, support, or recommendations regarding their or a loved ones cancer related health issues.

Bill spent countless hours on the phone each day, speaking to men from all over the country. He encouraged them, advised them, and provided them with not only useful information, but with the hope and inspiration they need to cope with their situation. He never turned away from anyone who needed help.

John Shearron, also from the Don Johnson Chapter says Bill Blair was the single most important person in his life aside from his family! I never knew a more giving person in my life. Through Bill’s efforts, many of our members have been able to extend their lives. Men in Bill’s group with metastatic disease live longer than they would have because of Bills ability to not only give these men “hope” he gives them “life”. Bill Blair worked miracles for our group. In no uncertain terms, Bill Blair saved lives!

Bill Blair passed away on Feburary 23, 2009. Click here to read more about Bill in the April/May 2009 Chapter News.

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Shirley Grey - Don Johnson Chapter, Palatine, IL

Twelve years ago Shirley and her husband Herb had been attending an Us TOO Chapter in La Grange. She knew she could create something to meet the needs of prostate cancer patients and their loved ones in her area too. She coordinated the first meeting in Palatine/Inverness, The Don Johnson Chapter and has been actively involved ever since.

Shirley recognized the important role wives and partners play in the lives of prostate cancer patients. She began a partners group in 2002. In 2004, she joined Us TOO’s Companion and Family Advisory Panel, adding invaluable insight to the creation of the Circles of Love web-presence and materials.

Shirley has been a long-time nurse in her career, with a masters degree in perinatal nursing. Through here know-how and understanding of the medical community, she has made contacts through the years to raise monies to help support her chapters mailings.
In 2004, a visiting physician and his wife shared the story of a race in California at which a runner shared, “I want to run for my father who has prostate cancer” Shirley knew she had just been handed a great idea! She and Myrna Porter (from the Wellness Place) rallied others around the idea and, in 2005 the first Greater Chicago Prostate Cancer Run, Walk ‘n Roll took place. Now approaching its fourth year, this wildly successful event has expanded significantly and is held in downtown Chicago every September.

Besides being the driving force for many powerful groups, events and ideas, Shirley was, for many years, first and foremost, “Herbie” Grey’s wife and partner. Sadly, Herbie lost his battle with prostate cancer in September 2008 after well over a dozen years of survivorship. Despite this immeasurable loss, Shirley continues her passionate efforts to support patients and partners.

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Chuck Maack - Treasurer of Us TOO Wichita, Kansas

There are several things that stand out about Chuck—one is the sheer scope of his contribution. “I know very few people whose counsel reaches so far and wide, says Leah Cohen wife of survivor Ted Cohen of New York. Chuck is not only helping people with the everyday business of living with prostate cancer, he is also contributing his time to finding a cure. Chuck’s personal story is so inspiring, and when he speaks, it is always with sincerity.” I have to say the most heartening words she had ever heard from Chuck were “I’ll always be there for you at the other end of the computer” Over time, Chuck has been not just a friend, but a teacher, mentor and spiritual counselor.

“I nominate him with the appreciation for the depth of humanitarian fellowship for his brothers in PCa”, says Geoff Beane of Hamilton, Ohio. “I am proof that Us TOO email counseling as exemplified by Chuck Maack’s all but collaborative assistance to me can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful decision making. For those with recurrent PCa, Chuck provides a listening ear, a logical mind in analyzing the situation, and in discussion of suitable treatments to maximize Quality of Life while minimizing side effects. As a long time survivor battling recurrent PCa, Chuck shares his own experiences, from both the technical and the emotional points of view.

“Chuck has taught hundreds of us coping skills and skills we need to find joy of living again” says James Matras of WI. “He has helped men that I know overcome the crushing depression that sometimes occurs with PCa. With Chuck’s advice, guidance and referrals, I truly believe he helped a man who was suicidal.”

“Though many of us have not personally met Chuck, we feel as though we have found a family member who genuinely cares about any prostate cancer concerns my wife and I have” shares Gordon and Connie Beswick of IL.

Not only is Chuck Maack the “glue” for the Wichita Kansas chapter, he is also always as close as a phone call or email away. Through Us TOO’s sponsored prostate pointers listservs, PCAI, RP, HAH, the Circle, EBRT and WW, Chuck has offered so much support to so many. Chuck received 11 nominations from fellow survivors and their partners from all over the country.

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Jack Pias - In Memoriam - Us TOO Belgium

Last August US TOO Belgium and Europa Uomo lost a very special man. Founding chairman of US TOO Belgium and Founding Secretary of Europa Uomo Jack Pais was a great leader, an outstanding family man and an example of a patient committed to improve the quality of life of the senior citizens in our fast technology and information society. On top of these credentials he was a great friend over the years of ups and downs in looking for patient power in the complex health care society. As a soul-mate we understood that human relations take time and aspirations to serve mankind by an evolution rather than a revolution taxes the patience of committed volunteers.

When he finally agreed to look more for the quiet pleasures in life especially spending time with the family and walking his dog, he had the bad luck that we confronted him with the option to get involved with the emotional and practical aspects of care for patients with prostate diseases. After learning the facts he all over again gave his dedication to the cause of patient empowerment. No words but deeds were his style and patient information and education in collaboration with the profession was his practical goal. If you know the problem you can better communicate with the doctor and the nurses. His last work became a booklet “A Vade Mecum” of his own experiences with the disease and treatment. He wanted to rid prostate cancer of the tabou surrounding the disease. He still changed some details and the title of this booklet two days before his death. At the end he had to fight three life threatening diseases which became too much to bear even for a giant his size.

Jack founded US TOO Belgium in 2000 as a sister organisation of its US TOO Counterpart. It is a support group for prostate disease patients which now covers the Flanders region with groups in Antwerp, Brabant and Limburg and both provinces of Flanders. In a very short time the activities regularly presented in a Café Santé were like jazz jam-sessions stimulating exchange of views and open discussions with lecturing physicians where lifestyle seemed as important as the latest treatment research.

This success led to the European alliance of prostate cancer support groups in the founding of Europa Uomo where he started as secretary in 2004. The support of the European School of Oncology stimulated this initiative to the present representation of 16 European countries and more to join.

One does not have cancer alone. A philosophy shared by Jack and his friends from the Oncologic Centre Antwerp. We will miss you Jack but we will continue your message.

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Harry Pinchot - In Memoriam - Us TOO Thousand Oaks & Marina Del Ray, California

Harry’s dedication to his fellow man and his devotion to his family was shown by the remarkable and touching outpouring of gracious and loving words from doctors, friends and fellow survivors at his memorial service.

“When I joined him on the Board of Directors of Us TOO in 2003, he readily shared his immense knowledge and passion about prostate cancer with me”, says Tom Hiatt. “It was an honour and privilege to have known him. Harry was and always will be my inspiration and hero.”

“Harry brought the chapter to life, and brought life to the chapter, by means of his dedication and depth of knowledge” shares Ken Foster from CA. He always served as a high level source of information and personal encouragement too all that he came in contact with. Harry was widely recognized as perhaps the most knowledgeable layman concerning prostate cancer, its biology, its prevention, and its treatment. He will be greatly missed by thousands of prostate cancer patients, their families, and the prostate cancer community as a whole who came to depend on, and deeply respect this remarkable man who had such an impact on the understanding of prostate cancer and its treatment options.

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Stan Rosenfeld - Us TOO Marin County Support Group - California

Peter Carrol, M.D. Professor and Chair Department of Urology at UCSF says that he simply cannot remember anyone who has devoted more time, effort and enthusiasm to the cause of prostate cancer research, treatment and survivorship. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of patient education and informed decision making. He always has time for those in need, and once again, I have never seen anyone work harder on behalf of any cause.

“Over the 17 years that I have been a faculty member at UCSF I have had an opportunity to work with numerous groups and advocates. Without exception Stan Rosenfeld, is the most knowledgeable, tireless, humble and self-effacing person I have ever met “, shares Mark Roach lll, MD Professor Radiation, Oncology and Urology Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA. “As a recognized authority on the management of clinically localized prostate cancer I am keenly aware of what is known, what is not known and where the controversies exist. There are many controversies, It is extremely important that when a newly diagnosed patient needs a survivor to talk to, that the information provided by the survivor be as un-biased as possible. In this regard, Stan has been a tremendous resource. I have seen him commit his time and heart to everything from hand-holding for men and their families with earliest stages of disease, to men within days of death from the disease.”

Rick Davis from the Marin County Group writes… “For the past nine years Stan has been the moderator and inspiration for the Marin County Support Group. He leads our group with not just great compassion, sensitivity and humor, but immense knowledge. He is a font of information to both new and seasoned attendees with his frequent references to proven knowledge as well as the most current research. His lay voice comforts newly diagnosed men, guiding them through the labyrinth of the stressful treatment decision.

Such is a measure of the successful, upbeat and positive nature of our group that spouses and caregivers attend without their partners at times for the camaraderie. Occasionally men nailed with other cancers choose to return to the group knowing they will find positive support: they are welcomed with open arms reflecting Stan’s enormous heart, generosity of spirit and leadership. Stan has immeasurably improved the quality of life of innumerable PCa sufferers.”

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Ralph Valle - Us TOO St. Joseph Hospital Support Group - Arizona

“Ralph is compassionate and understanding to everyone’s needs. He always has time to counsel those, specifically newly diagnosed men teaching them about the various treatment options available” says Joseph Tomaino of Sun City, AZ.

Ralph was one of the first three men to join the Arizona Prostate Cancer Task Force empowered by the Arizona legislature in 1999. Ralph is still an active member of that committee and thanks to his efforts has made the Us TOO Organization a dominating presence in the state of Arizona. Ralph has taken the time to visit most of the chapters in the state of Arizona sharing his knowledge of prostate cancer. Ralph has been known to spend 8 to 10 hours a day in an attempt to keep informed on the subject of prostate cancer. Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Myers once made the comment that Ralph Valle never fails to astonish him with his remarkable knowledge.

“Ralph’s compensation is only his pride in knowing that he has been able to assist his fellow man, truly a great virtue. Ralph is one of the few human beings that is truly willing to give back more then he receives,” says Rex.

“During the fifteen years that I have been associated with Us TOO and those fine men and women that have gone out of their way in an attempt to eradicate all forms of cancer, I can think of none more worthy of this award than Ralph Valle”, shares Rex Zeiger of Arizona. After being involved in a chemical spill, Ralph learned that he had prostate cancer in 1992. He then took early retirement spending most of his time in medical libraries in attempt to learn all he could about prostate cancer. His desire to learn led him to become one of the most read and respected contributors to many prostate cancer websites. Being a Chemical Engineer aided him in understanding the body chemistry and utilizing that knowledge to assist many prostate cancer patients throughout the US and other parts of the country.

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