Ed Kaps Award 2011.jpg
William C Stewart
Bob Horney
George Mirich
Lew Musgrove
Mike Jones
Bill Krellner
Vin McDonald

Willie C. Stewart - Us TOO Tacoma, Washington Support Group

Willie Stewart Close-up Kaps Award copy.jpgWillie is a strong community leader. He was an educator for many years, principal of Lincoln High School and school board chairman in his retirement. When you mention Willie’s name in Tacoma, you usually get instant recognition. That recognition often is because the person has been one of Willie’s students.

Willie facilitates the Thursday meeting of our Us TOO Tacoma Prostate Cancer Support Group. He started and has lead the group for nineteen years.  He is always mindful and consistent in meeting the needs of the members. He encourages but does not insist that members share their journeys and concerns. He makes sure there is adequate time to listen to new members and those who have a rising PSA after treatment.

The Tacoma Prostate Cancer Support Groups Steering Committee also meets once a month and Willie helps to chart the direction of the group.
Willie is highly respected by his peers in the prostate cancer community and has made great strides for those in “the trenches” dealing with their disease.

Jack Hudspeth from the Us TOO Tacoma group shares, “Willie has been my mentor and friend for more than 13 years. I first met Willie shortly after my prostate cancer diagnosis when I attended my first meeting in 1998. He is the consummate volunteer and has been recognized often for his community involvement for several events that he has spoken at.  I have learned much from him, but the most important thing he has taught me is, giving back is so much more rewarding than receiving.” 

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Bob Horney, Us TOO Florence, Oregon 

Bob Horney Close up 2011 copy.jpgBob was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001. He had a radical prostatectomy in January 2002 and in November of 2007 began External Beam Radiation and Lupron therapy due to increasing PSA.

Since 2001, Bob has been the driving force of prostate cancer awareness and education by facilitating a support group in Florence, Oregon. Bob is an extremely dedicated advocate for prostate cancer survivors and a never ending source of knowledge on PCa. He uses this knowledge to help men evaluate their diagnosis and guide them through their journey with prostate cancer.

Bob is constantly searching for ways to get information and resources out to men, especially newly diagnosed men, to help them get through their “journey”. One way he has done this is by creating notebooks of “Journeys”. These notebooks include Personal Prostate Cancer Journeys as well as news releases, information shared at meetings by doctors, other medical personnel and complementary therapists.  The notebooks are left in urology offices and at support groups for patients to take home and read, learn and ask questions. These notebooks are such an invaluable resource! He has these journeys published each month in the local newspaper as well.
Bob has also set up “tele-consults”. The first tele-consult reached all the way to Ketchikan, Alaska. Bob had been communicating for several weeks to a recently diagnosed man and suggested he call during the support group meeting while a doctor was present and was able to ask any questions of the doctor and group members. Bob is ALWAYS ready and willing to help in any way to promote prostate cancer awareness and does so by volunteering in many events, speaking to anyone who will listen about prostate cancer, and he has even created a local Us TOO website.

Stephanie Kerns from Oregon Urology Institute shares, “Bob has been then beacon of reason and education when men and their families are a drift in a sea of emotion.  He has touched the lives of so many through the years that many feel he is the reason they made it through their cancer journey.  Bob has educated thousands of men of all ages on the importance of screening and early detection. He has even gone toe-to-toe with the American Cancer Society's Oregon Chapter regarding their recommendations and screening.  He went as far as severing ties with them after almost 10 years of partnership with their Man to man group. Bob has been an inspiration to others which he has helped start  two additional support groups in Oregon with his tutelage.”

We are all blessed to call him friend, advocate and survivor.

These are only a few of the examples of what he has done.  Bob is a TRUE INSPIRATION to so many and his devotion to promoting prostate cancer awareness. 

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George Mirich, Us TOO Sierra Vista, Arizona

George Mirich Close-up 2011 copy.jpgThe entire membership of Us TOO Sierra Vista nominated their group leader George Mirich for the 4th Annual Edward C. Kaps Award. George is a dynamic individual. He is totally committed to improving awareness of the benefits and importance of screening and early detection, which can improve survival and save lives. George is extremely innovative, hard working and dedicated to helping men with prostate cancer and their families deal with the effects of this disease.

A Prostate Cancer speaker’s service was established with George as the lead speaker. Additionally 4 PCa survivors from the Us TOO Sierra Vista Chapter did “awareness” commercials on a local TV network. The station also agreed to run a trailer on the bottom of the TV screen announcing any special event the chapter is promoting. The four local radio stations in the community aired short Prostate Cancer messages, during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. George also created the Chapter website and is the editor-in-chief of their quarterly newsletter.

In April of this year, the chapter opened a new prostate cancer resource center in the offices of Bright Star home care. The purpose is to make Prostate Cancer information available to interested men, their families who are not interested, nor able to attend chapter meetings. The center is hosted by volunteer chapter members.

In September of this year his group sponsored a dual prostate/breast cancer event with the Southeastern AZ chapter of Susan G. Komen foundation. The goal was to provide information concerning Breast and PCa with focus on the individual patient. By Collaborating with Komen, Us TOO Sierra Vista gained access to 35,000 women in SE AZ and their husbands, fathers brothers and partners. This effort lead the way to potentially expand the chapters outreach to a wider population, and reach more men through their wives.

In the little spare time George has left, he volunteers to provide transportation to and from Doctors and hospital appointments for cancer patients who are not able to drive themselves.

None of the above accomplishments would have been possible without George Mirich’s tireless efforts. And to quote George, “A life of purpose is a life with purpose”.

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Lew Musgrove, Us TOO Las Vegas

Lew Musgrove 2011 Good copy.jpgLew has served for over 20 years with Us TOO both locally and with Us TOO International as a volunteer helping men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Lew’s reputation is well known in the prostate cancer community. Group Leader Tony Crispino shares, “When I started out, like many men with this disease, I was scared and worried about things to come. I turned to support groups both online and live. This is where I ran into this terrific support group serving Las Vegas. Lew was heading that group as he had for fifteen years.  When he retired at the end of 2009.  Lew asked me to take the reins of the group but I asked him to please stay close which he has. Lew continues to be a part of Us TOO Las Vegas in many ways. Recently he went on television to promote our 1st Annual “This One’s for the Boys” prostate cancer awareness walk ~ a joint effort for Us TOO Las Vegas and 21st Century C.A.R.E foundation.
In the past Lew served as Chairman for Us TOO International, The Nevada Cancer Coalition, The Nevada Governors Committee on Prostate Cancer, The California Prostate Cancer Coalition, The Prostate Cancer Roundtable ~ and many other volunteer programs in the work for prostate cancer awareness.

Jackie from the Us TOO home office shares, “Lew has been around a long time, and he has always be very kind to me."

Leader Tony Crispino also says, “I am honored to serve as his successor leading Us TOO Las Vegas. It is with great admiration for the efforts that Lew has unselfishly done for others that I try to keep the ship sailing.  He has left some very large footprints to follow. I speak for an entire group of men living in Las Vegas ~ Lew Musgrove deserves to  be an Ed Kaps Award winner because he is indeed a winner in all aspects of his life. 

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Mike Jones - In MemoriamUs TOO Austin, Texas

Mike Jones Christams Pic Santa copy.jpgMike Jones has been the Chapter Leader of the Austin group for over 10 years. For those of you who do not know, or have never met Mike Jones, when first introduced, your first impression might be that he is a “mean guy”, rough and tough. Keith Hoffman from the Austin group shares his story about the first time he met Mike. “When I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009, Mike agreed o meet me at a Denny’s Restaurant here in town. It was a convenient place for the both of us to meet, but it wasn’t in the best neighborhood. Realizing that I had no idea what Mike looked like when walking in, my eyes immediately fell on a biker looking guy with a tank top, shaved head and some tattoos. As I approached, he shook my hand and without letting go looked me straight in the eye and said, “Do you think a mean old guy like me deserves cancer? It’s time to stop your pity party and take control of what you’ve been given.”  From that moment on, all of my energy for personal recovery, volunteering and counseling others has come from the initial spark that Mike gave to me.

For those of us who have had the privilege of really getting to know Mike, you understand that he is truly a special individual who would do anything for a friend in need. There are not many who are more loyal, dependable, passionate and committed to a cause than him.

Mike tells of his own discussion with God after his experience with a traditional prostatectomy that had complications. Lying in his hospital bed, he looked up and said, if you help me get out of this mess, I promise  that I will make it my personal commitment to make sure I reach every man I can and tell him about prostate cancer.”

Mike has raised thousands of dollars for Us TOO throughout the years by organizing bowling tournaments, fishing tournaments, and Pints for Prostates Events. He has organized PSA screenings with St. David’s Hospital in Austin the past several years where hundreds of men have been given free prostate cancer screenings, this year reaching their highest amount ever of 203 men.

When Ike Cummings, a friend of Mikes, was diagnosed with prostate cancer he traveled from Washington to have his treatment in Austin, Texas. “Mike was by my side through the entire pre-op and operations” shares Ike. “He and his wife Kathleen took me to their home after my release from the hospital and cared for me for twelve days. I will never be able to return such care, love and friendship.

Most recently, Mike is dealing with two new cancers, one being metastatic lung cancer and is undergoing extensive radiation and chemotherapy treatment. This new battle he is fighting has left him very weak and fatigued, but he still remains positive and optimistic for a full recovery.

In all of his nomination letters, the same words came up over and over. Committed, compassionate, unique, dedicated, loyal, big heart, dependable, love, and friendship.

For those of us who have had the privilege of really getting to know Mike Jones, you understand, that under that tough, mean guy, is a truly special individual who would do anything for a friend, even a stranger.

Terri Likowski from the Us TOO staff spoke with Mike and he wanted her to share this message: "Cancer is temporary, but family and friends are for life."

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Bill Krellner
, Us TOO Buffalo Metro Center, Western New York

Bill Krellner 2011 Close up copy.jpgA five year survivor, Bill stepped into a leadership role after one year of recovery by serving with the chapter’s education and outreach program headquartered at (though not affiliated with) the Buffalo Veterans Administration Medical Center.  Following the death of the chapter’s previous leader, Bill McLaughlin, Bill Krellner—with input from a number of men who worked together to help see the chapter survive—eventually took over as chapter leader and has helped to revitalize the program’s effectiveness in Western New York.

Bill has revived the chapter’s educational presentation format, inviting local treatment providers and manufacturer representatives to offer new information about treatment protocols and possibilities. At the same time, as the leader of one of the local meeting groups, he ensures that meeting time is always available for newcomers to be recognized and assisted to present their concerns. He later follows up with these men in telephone conversations to be sure their needs have been addressed.

Bill has assumed a role as an active patient advocate at a local consortium meeting where newly diagnosed cases are presented for treatment discussion and recommendation. In this fashion, he has been identified in the community as the person to contact when seeking information about Us TOO and treatment possibilities, and he gives hours of his time to such requests for help and assistance.  He has assisted in outreach to and encouraged local group involvement for traditionally under served populations. He has taken on the role of media contact person so that ad placements inform the general public of chapter meeting times and locations. He is the literature provider for local meetings, provides email updates on prostate cancer matters, and either directly participates or organizes group members to provide outreach material at local health fairs.  Most recently, he has become the point person for reorganizing the chapter’s volunteer outreach service at the Buffalo VA Hospital when room reallocation disrupted this community offering.

Seymour Hesch from the group shares, “Bill has been the mainstay of  the Us TOO of Wewtern NY groups since Bill McLaughlin was no longer able to lead (and has since passed away). Bill has really extended himself in holding our organization together during some trying times.

Bill’s service has kept alive the Us TOO message of hope for prostate cancer sufferers and their families in Western New York.  And, most importantly, he has done it with humble grace, giving this gift of his time and energy without seeking acclaim.

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Vin McDonald, Us TOO Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland

Vin McDonald Better 2011 copy.jpgVin is President of the Board of Directors of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Us Too support Group. Vin has been involved with the chapter for more than ten years. The Chapter is a very active group of prostate cancer patients and survivors who live in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia area.

Some of the Chapters activities under Vins leadership include daytime and evening monthly meetings. The meetings offer fellowship and camaraderie, with frank discussion and exchanging information and support for newly diagnosed and continuing care patients. The meetings are focused on providing direct support to local members and their families because prostate cancer is a family disease.

Vin is responsible for creating the twelve page quarterly Newsletter which contains information of interest to men with prostate cancer and tot their families. It has an extremely wide distribution to about 1800 people electronically. Vin has dedicated himself to the Newsletter and is the editor. He is responsible for the format, content and is the subscription manager.
He also maintains a Counselors list. The list provides the names of 40 individuals willing to share their experiences with the multiple forms of prostate cancer treatment, and takes a keen interest when arranging for the health care professionals who come to speak to their members. Vin keeps very up to date on what is currently happening in the prostate cancer world.

He also is involved with “Honor Flight Hosts”. Group members act as personal escorts for World War ll veterans visiting the national World War ll Memorial and other major memorials in Washington DC. While visiting with these folks he discusses health and well being issues with them and lets them know he is always available to assist them with any questions or concerns they have about their own health issues.

Nominated by the Chapter, Vin has performed as a prostate cancer consumer representative in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program on multiple occasions.

As a consumer Representative, he supplies collective views of survivors, patients, family members, and persons affected by and at risk for prostate cancer, ensuring the human dimension is incorporated in the program policy, investment strategy, and research focus.
Fred Gersh shares, “Vin McDonald has done a magnificent job as the President of the Board of Directors  of the Walter Reed Us TOO Group.  He stays aware of everything  taking place in the prostate cancer community, and always follows up and stays connected with those he counsels along the way”.

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