Patient Support Helpline

Call (844) 244-1309

ZERO360 is a free, comprehensive patient support service to help patients and their families navigate insurance and financial obstacles to cover treatment and other critical needs associated with cancer.


Subscribe to our E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on the latest news about prostate cancer. Join our distribution list to receive periodic email updates and our monthly e-newsletter.

  • Patient Support (844) 244-1309
  • Search
  • e-News Signup Enews Signup
  • Run/Walk
  • Donate

Quotes of Holiday Hope

SEA Stories

The following quotes are our “tales from the heart” from those who are affected by prostate cancer and who want to share their experiences in order to provide hope and inspiration to others. This holiday season, we offer the following quotes which speak about the importance of having a strong community to help make informed decisions on prostate cancer testing, treatment, and management of side effects. If you have a quote you would like to add to this page, please contact friends@ustoo.org. (Be sure to send a high resolution photo as well!)

Please visit www.ustoo.org/holidayhope2020 to donate to our Holiday Hope fundraising campaign to help Us TOO provide support, education, and advocacy for the prostate cancer community at no charge. If you would like to print the page to send in, please visit https://www.ustoo.org/pdfs/Holiday_Campaign_Donation_Form_2020.pdf

Photo of Kathie and Dave Houchens
"Us TOO has held a special place in our lives since Dave’s diagnosis in 2001. While his career in cancer research provided unique understanding of the science of the disease, we both needed emotional support and understanding to face the day-to-day challenges of living with a killer disease. Like most men and their caregivers, we searched for wise and up-to-date information on treatment options as well as ways to connect with others on this new part of our life journey. We also sought ways to invest ourselves in this community, a brotherhood and sisterhood that could uniquely understand each other and be present to each other’s experience, because we were and are on the same road to hope and healing. As we head into our twentieth year living with prostate cancer, we are excited to see the possibilities for improved diagnostics and treatments. Us TOO is the hub for reliable information to expand knowledge and to support quality of life. Please join us in the fellowship of the Us TOO Community that is even more effective ‘virtually’ as friendships form across the country and around the world. Looking ahead to 2021, hope and gratitude go hand in hand."

Kathie and Dave Houchens
Columbus, Ohio

Photo of Len Sierra
"There are so many wonderful ways that Us TOO has enriched my life since my prostate cancer diagnosis. My first exposure to Us TOO was via the Inspire website where I was educated by strangers who shared my illness. That, in turn, led to my eventual involvement with a partner of Us TOO, the Answer Cancer Foundation, now doing business as AnCan, and I am now on their Board. It also led to my involvement with the Us TOO chapter in Danbury, CT, a group that I now co-moderate with Jim Coffey. And, of course, being a snowbird, my winter migrations to Sarasota, FL, eventually led to my leadership of the Us TOO Sarasota group. Along the way, I’ve made some of the most meaningful and close friendships of my life with fellow volunteers and participants. Us TOO has supported me and that has enabled me to support countless others. It’s all about Support, Education and Advocacy. Together we are stronger."

Len Sierra
Danbury, CT

Photo of Anonymous Couple
"After my husband was diagnosed, I felt so isolated and afraid; our Us TOO support group provided the depth of human understanding and kindness I craved from people who'd walked in my shoes and could thus truly understand my current perspective without judgement. I am grateful beyond measure!"

Anonymous Couple

Photo of Anthony Pizzoferrato
"It's coming up on the two-year anniversary of having my prostate removed. The Us TOO group for gay men with prostate cancer and their partners has taught me a lot about myself. It has assisted me to reach out to other men all over the country, that I did not know, but had an immediate rapport and respect for. I like to start meetings with meditation and a grounding for the group. We are joined in that moment no matter the location or what is happening, we are sharing time and space. I am grateful to be able to offer my words and time and energy with them. What I like about the meeting format is that it always changes in spite of any agenda I might plan. What I am most grateful for is that no matter how long I have left to be on the earth, I am grateful for every lesson I have learned. My calling has always been to heal myself, lead others, and teach what I have learned from my experience. Pete and I wish you all the best for a wonderful holiday season and a happy safe New Year! Thanks Us TOO for allowing me to be part of the support groups!"

Anthony Pizzoferrato and his Husband Pete Cardiasmenos

Photo of Susan Dresner
"Recently, I’ve become the caregiver for my partner diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer. Since I feel like I’m sinking in quicksand, dealing with multiple challenges, anxiety of the unknown, his moodiness, fatigue (his and mine), and playing multiple roles of appointment coordinator, health advocate, companion, finding Us TOO’s A Forum for Her caregivers group has been a lifesaver! During every group session, I receive consistent and empathetic support from our women members as well as useful and practical knowledge, and friendship. This has gone a long way to help me carry on!"

Susan Dresner

Photo of Bruce Linde
"I was totally overwhelmed by my diagnosis. Finding a support group helped me get through by turning a solo journey into shared experience and perspectives. Our group is comprised of newbies to those with more advanced PCa. It's been five years and I now run the group… my way of giving back. Support groups? Highly recommended!"

Bruce Linde
Oakland, CA Prostate Cancer Support Group

Photo of Bob Wright
"Us TOO Austin Mike Jones Memorial Chapter has allowed me to become a keeper of the legacy of our fellow survivor, founder, and mentor Mike Jones. His helping me on my journey has made me realize the value of how a trusted friend and someone who has ‘been there and done that’ is the best support that a prostate cancer survivor can ask for. Thanks Mike and Us TOO for giving me purpose!"

Bob Wright M.A.
Support Group Leader/Patient Advocate/Survivor/Veteran
Austin, TX

Photo of Diane and Merv Falk Sr
"Thank you for all your seminars, educational monthly texts, and hope. My husband, Merv Falk Sr., has successfully battled stage 4 for a year now here in southern Illinois. Between Dr. Sam Stokes, the urologist who diagnosed Merv, the SIH Cancer Institute and Dr. M. Popalzai, and lastly Us TOO, I have managed to advocate for my husband and sons. Merv is on Zytiga, Lupron injections, and prednisone, and last week scans showed his lung metastases have resolved. No bone spread, nor lymph node. He never had radiation or surgery. We expect to celebrate a family-filled Christmas, and last June celebrated our 50th Anniversary. We take each day as it comes, but I continue to rely on your up-to-date info. Bless you all."

Diane and Merv Falk Sr.
Marion, IL

Photo of Bill and Susan Briggs
"Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can cause unexpected feelings of confusion, loss, and isolation. I was fortunate enough to already have a support system in place with my wife as caregiver and co-decision-maker. But it also took interaction with other Us TOO support group members to help me come to terms with, and to address, my own situation, because they truly understood what I was going through. The men and women in the group offered, both my wife and me, their guidance and support based on their knowledge and actual experience. I would recommend the support group to any men who have been diagnosed. I would also recommend it as an important source of ‘support for the supporter,’ such as it was with my wife. The power of the group has saved my life."

Bill and Susan Briggs
Prostate Cancer Survivor and Us TOO Support Group Leader
with His Wife and Caregiver
Charlotte, NC

Photo of Stan Rosenfeld Photo of Stan Rosenfeld Group
"I've been deeply moved and humbled by the solidarity and compassion with which the group welcomes all participants, old and new alike."

Stan Rosenfeld
Us TOO Support Group Leader
San Rafael, CA

Photo of Tony Bonanno
"The Us TOO support group helped me make a life changing treatment decision and the Hot SHEET newsletters keep me abreast of new prostate cancer technology, should I have a recurrence."

Tony Bonanno
Us TOO Support Group Leader with His Family
Mount Holly, New Jersey

Photo of Darrell and Gloria Wilson
"When I was told that my PCa had metastasized, after doing everything the doctors suggested the first time and at recurrence, I was apprehensive, angry and difficult to live with. At my first visit to the Us TOO support group I met men who were surviving, even thriving, in similar circumstances. My anxiety level was almost totally reduced. Now I participate as a member and in the leadership team. In my mind I am not fighting PCa for just myself – I am fighting for all men."

Darrell and Gloria Wilson
Us TOO Support Group Leader and His Wife
Modesto and Manteca, CA

Photo of Steven McCloy
"A year ago I was facing prostate cancer, a radical prostatectomy and possible hormonal therapy. There were no support groups in my state so I decided to start a group! The support and the brotherhood from my Us TOO group have been so good. Thank you for the group, for the bulletins and for the bracelet. And the hope."

Steven McCloy
Us TOO Support Group Leader
Providence, Rhode Island

Photo of Mark and Peggy Richardson
"Through personal interaction with survivors and partners, reading monthly Us TOO newsletters and articles, we realize we have the same fears, feelings and frailties as many other prostate cancer survivors and caregivers. As Us TOO Support Group Leaders, we enjoy helping men and caregivers navigate through the difficult journey of diagnosis, treatment and recovery."

Mark and Peggy Richardson
Us TOO Support Group Leaders
Rochester, NY

Photo of Dave and Donna Evans
"The Us TOO family, although widespread,feels like a group of local people that we are free to talk to anytime we have a need or concern. As part of the family, we are proud to share the message of support with men and their significant others as they find they are being impacted by prostate cancer. Each new contact reinforces the original reason we got involved as volunteers; to make a difference for someone else at a time when life has just taken one of the most serious turns imaginable."

Dave and Donna Evans
Us TOO Quad Cities Group

Photo of Bill Krellner
"Being a part of the Us TOO Family has been very important to me as a 13 year prostate cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in May of 2005 and started attending Us TOO meetings in late 2005. I received a tremendous amount of education from the meeting attendees and a great amount of support from the support group leaders who made it evident that I was not alone in the fight against this disease. I was so impressed with this organization that I am now in my 10th year as a Chapter Leader of the US TOO Prostate Cancer Support Group of Western New York."

Bill Krellner
Chapter Leader
Us TOO Prostate Cancer Support Group
of Western New York
Buffalo, New York

Photo of Darryl and Deb Trinco
"We love the fact that Us TOO and their SEA Blue Chicago Prostate Cancer Walk and Run both continue to create an atmosphere of hope!"

Darryl and Deb Trinco
Darryl and Deb Trinco SEA Blue Team Trinco Lemont, IL

Photo of Jim and Mo Kiefert
"Having the Us TOO family available to us is so important as a way to connect with others with common values who are going through similar challenges. We meet people through the support groups who have been through, or are going though, their own cancer experiences. It is here that camaraderie is built, true support is established, and men become empowered. It is here where a man and his loved ones can learn to make well informed decisions on how to best deal with their situation.

We are grateful for Us TOO. It is a group of people you can call to talk to about personal or organizational issues. As support group leaders, we engage with other Us TOO support group leaders who can help provide guidance on the trials and tribulations of managing a group. We serve others who are in need of support and information. People don’t care how much you know, they want to know how much you CARE. Us TOO staff and volunteers always show how much they care. This is not 'hard work.' It is 'heart work.'"

Holiday Hope and Hugs,
Jim and Mo Kiefert
Support Group Leader,
Us TOO Director Emeritus
and His Loving Wife and Caregiver
Olympia, WA

Photo of Harvey and Miriam Orlov
"As many men who are newly diagnosed prostate cancer find, it is a chilling, scary time and many divergent thoughts run through your mind, as well as the minds of those in your immediate family.

You start seeking all of the information you can from doctors, friends, reading material, all adding to the confusion, and the thoughts start running through your mind, usually the worst. The more you learn in those very early days, the more confusing it gets. There are too many gray areas, because everyone is different, but the diagnosis is the same; prostate cancer.

But, as you start to absorb as much of this information overload as you can, and if you are fortunate enough to hear about Us TOO, and are lucky enough to have a friend strongly urge you to attend a meeting, or two or more, you find that everyone there has gone through a similar, or the exact same experience that you are going through. That is what happened to me. I attended three different Us TOO support group meetings within a two week period eighteen years ago, discovered that there were many different avenues of treatments, spoke with my peer group who were members, and started to understand the importance of taking one’s time, learning what the options were to get my situation under control, and successfully move on.

I have been attending US TOO meetings ever since those three meaningful events in 2001, and still learn something new at each meeting from a speaker, a video presentation, and from other attendees.

I highly recommend participating, learning, and educating yourself."

Harvey and Miriam Orlov
Us TOO Bill Blair/Russ Gould Support Group Chapter,
Inverness, IL

Photo of Joseph and Debra Harrison
"Us TOO International has served as therapeutic adhesive for my wife and I from the time prostate cancer became a part of our lives. We worked together to help start a third prostate cancer support group on the west side of San Antonio, TX. San Antonio is now the only city in the country with three active prostate cancer support groups. We were able to spread the word across the country by supplying literature and information to over 300 family members at our family reunion in Akron, Ohio. Working with our church, True Vine Baptist Church, and the Los Padres Zero Cancer Organization, we were able to establish a free annual prostate cancer screening event on the West Side of San Antonio. The event proved productive; we identified several men from the screening process which we suggested explore a more definitive follow-up treatment plan.

The most important aspect of our blessing is that we share a passion to spread the word about prostate cancer, get men to talk about it, and demonstrate that the disease is a family affair."

Joseph and Debra Harrison
Us TOO San Antonio West Support Group Leader San Antonio, Texas

Photo of Rich and Brenda Jackson
"I feel the 'A Forum for Her' caregiver support calls and inspirational words posted on the forum social media page have helped put me back into a somewhat normal place in life. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Life does look better, at least I have an outlet to talk and get things off my chest. "

Rich and Brenda Jackson
Moderator for Us TOO’s “A Forum for Her”
Moderator for Answer Cancer Foundation Calls
Norfolk, VA

Photo of Jeffrey Albaugh
"As a prostate cancer healthcare provider and researcher, I have found Us TOO to be a critical resource for men with prostate cancer and their partners. As an expert in urology and sexual health, I can provide important information to help my patients navigate the many challenges with prostate cancer and after diagnoses and treatment, but they also need to connect with and talk to other men with prostate cancer. The peer-to-peer interaction has proven to be a crucial part of the healing process for many of my patients. In addition, I have also found that peer support for both men and their partners was identified in my research studies as a recurring important need. I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of Us TOO support, education and advocacy in my patients and in my research. The common humanity shared amongst the men and partners in the many support groups to help others and improve quality of life with prostate cancer is miraculous to experience. I am truly blessed to continue to partner with Us TOO in our common mission to empower and enlighten men with prostate cancer and their partners."

Jeffrey Albaugh, PhD, APRN, CUCNS
Us TOO Board Member
Chicago, IL

Photo of Jim and Rae Hight
"When we learned of my husband’s diagnosis, we recognized 'cancer,' but had no frame of reference for 'prostate' cancer. We had no idea how unique this disease was or how isolated we would feel. I wanted to connect with others who were experienced in supporting men and their partners dealing with the specific challenges of prostate cancer. We found this with Us TOO. Their website is a rich source of information for those newly diagnosed, as well as for those who are in the midst of battling advanced disease. They provide regular e-mails with updated information and are continually striving to expand what they offer, including conferences across the states. I also found a home with A Forum for Her, a call in group and invitation-only Facebook community for women who are supporting men living with prostate cancer. We share our stories and strengths through monthly phone calls and ready access to postings that offer inspiration and emotional support."

Jim and Rae Hight
Prostate Cancer Survivor with His Wife Who is Moderator
of the Us TOO “A Forum for Her” Support Group for Caregivers
Port Orchard, WA

Photo of Cliff Whall and Monique Davoust
"When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer (PCa) in 1998, like most men, I knew nothing about it. But the word 'cancer' really got my attention. I wondered what having PCa meant with respect to my quality of life and life span, and what options, if any, I had to fight it. It was a scary time. I realized that I needed up to date, clinically relevant information and after looking at what a few cancer organizations offered online, I found Us TOO, International. It was the best. Then I discovered that Us TOO had support groups all around the country that met monthly, and that there was one near me. At the very first meeting I attended, I was overwhelmed by how helpful the other men, who had gone through the same thing I had, were. It was so important to hear from these men and to listen to their experiences. I found out that, with PCa, I could take some time to learn about my treatment options and visit several PCa specialists in various fields (surgery, radiation, oncology) for their opinions, and then to make an informed treatment decision. No guarantees, but it was empowering to now be armed with all this information and to know that I had some time. I ultimately chose to have a prostatectomy with a PCa specialist in Chicago, and my PSA was undetectable soon thereafter. After 20 years, it still is, and my wife, Monique, and I consider ourselves to be extremely fortunate. Soon after my operation, I decided that I wanted to give back to this organization that had helped me so much, so I joined the steering committee of a newly formed Us TOO chapter. I did that for 15 years and have been chapter leader since January 2014. Newly diagnosed men with that look of 'what do I do now,' as well as men with recurrent or more advanced PCa wanting to know their options, keep coming to our meetings. So I’m still happy to continue giving back. Thank you Us TOO International."

Cliff Whall and Monique Davoust
Cliff Whall and Monique Davoust
Us TOO Bill Blair/Russ Gould Support Group Chapter, Inverness, IL

Photo of Dave Treat
"It has been almost three years now since I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. When it happened, my mind went crazy with fear and depression. God put the group of guys from the Us TOO Plateau Support Group in Enumclaw into my life. They just seem to keep appearing one after another, offering love and support. Expecting nothing in return. They walked with me through surgery to find my cancer was not contained. They again walked with me through radiation and now hormone therapy. They have truly given me the strength to walk my path, and shown me how to be of service and to help others on their own paths. Service seems to be the key, helping others always seems to bring me out of my funk. To see others as they get hope, as I have gotten, is the magic of the support group. Live the path, share the path, walk with others, never be ashamed of your illness, and give freely of your experience. You never really know who or how many people will be touched with your love. Love them all, even the ones you don’t want to. Life is short, love abundantly. Thank you all in our support groups for my life, both in Enumclaw and in Alaska!"

Dave Treat
Us TOO Plateau Support Group, Enumclaw, WA

CLICK HERE to read Dave’s story.

Photo of Steve Gordon
"The strength of our group is its members and Us TOO International. When a newly diagnosed patient comes to our meeting, they see prostate cancer survivors and their significant others, living and enjoying their lives. Knowledge coupled with the right attitude is a powerful force for healing and being in charge of your life and medical options. A prostate cancer diagnosis is a wake-up call, not a death sentence."

Steve Gordon
Us TOO Support Group Leader – Sarasota, FL

Photo of Bill Stevens
"It’s very rewarding to hear men say, ‘I am so thankful for your Us TOO group and the information you provided. Now I can make an educated decision about my treatment!’ Conversely, it is very sad to hear, ‘I only wish I had known about your group before I decided on my treatment!"

Bill Stevens
Us TOO Support Group Leader – Fairfield County, OH

Photo of Lee Hillstrom
"I love the Us TOO Fox Cities support and education group I lead. The group is always looking for ways to improve their own situations and they are willing to help others in our group. But where I really feel I can help is meeting one-on-one with the men, with their partners, or also with family members. They want to learn more about what is in store for them and coming to a support group meeting is a huge step for many men. Being alone with them, I can listen to their questions and concerns for however long they want to talk. And that has been, at times, over two hours. They are so appreciative to talk with someone who has experienced the very options that they are considering, and who is open and honest about what it was like and what the side effects were then and are now. I have also been successful in getting them to laugh at some of the embarrassing stories I share with them about my treatments. I share that it is normal to be anxious about what is ahead, but I know they will be in great hands at our local cancer centers."

Lee Hillstrom
Us TOO Support Group Leader – Fox Cities, Neenah, WI

Photo of Robert Sherman
"Recently a very nice urologist asked me to review some YouTube videos pertaining to prostate cancer. I took note that there are over 623,000 YouTube videos on the subject of prostate cancer, many of them outdated, clearly wrong, and motivated by financial interests. I have not found a website as comprehensive and up-to-date as www.ustoo.org for current and vital information on prostate cancer. The Us TOO support groups around the country offer men and their loved ones valuable resources for learning about treatment options that are sometimes varied, confusing, and many times not necessary. Please support Us TOO so they may continue helping men diagnosed with prostate cancer."

Robert Sherman
Us TOO Support Group Leader – Fox Cities, Neenah, WI

Photo of Johnny Payne
"Being a Support Group Leader, I have found that Us TOO has been a ‘life line’ for me as a survivor and to the many men whose lives we have touched over the years. I hear it time and time again, in testimony after testimony from the men and from their families. I truly believe that the support group experience is something special. The relationships and acquaintances that are formed within our support groups indeed make a difference. The support group experience is like no other that you will ever encounter. It creates an extended brotherhood that goes beyond your family. It also creates a very special affiliation that will accompany you along your journey. The experience begins with the initial diagnosis and continues through the research and decision making process, through treatment, post treatment and virtually the rest of your life as a survivor. Within the support groups, you will meet individuals who have experienced the same concerns that you are facing. To know that you are not alone, and to know that there is someone who cares is uplifting at a time when you need it most. The support group experience does not need to be temporary. For those of us who choose to stay involved, this will carry us the rest of our lives. And finally the most rewarding part is that we have an opportunity to give back. We can be there for others just as others were there for us, when we were in need."

Johnny Payne
Us TOO Support Group Leader – Greenville, SC

Photo of Lori and Mike O’Connor
"The day we received my husband's prostate cancer diagnosis was undoubtedly the most profound life-changing event we have ever experienced. We took the time we needed to digest the news and quickly decided we were going to move forward through this battle giving it everything we had!

Through Us TOO International we found strength and hope! We were able to meet other PCa warriors and share stories, emotions, and experiences. These men and their families inspired us in a way that is difficult to put into words. Us TOO provided us with a safe landing place. It's a brotherhood/family of people that understand exactly what we are going through without our ever needing to explain."

Lori and Mike O’Connor
Chicago, IL

Photo of Joe Cavalli from Hackensack, NJ
"I go back to when I was first diagnosed seventeen years ago and turned to the Internet for help. Due to ALL the good, and bad, information on the web, I got so totally confused. Then I found the Us TOO site and it was like finding a beacon of help in a sea of misinformation. Because of this, I sought out the local chapter of Us TOO and immediately got involved."

Joe Cavalli
Us TOO Support Group Leader – Hackensack, NJ

Photo of Ted Hinderman
"I have been involved with Us TOO for over ten years. When a chapter member acknowledges publicly in one of our meetings, ‘Ted, you saved my life,’ I don't know a higher compliment one could receive. As I, and my chapter co-leader Chuck Voinovich, have always said, we are here to Support, Advocate, and Educate. We try to do that every month when we meet. The reward is in knowing we are helping the newly diagnosed sift through the maze of information and choices facing them to make the difficult decision on how to proceed. I was in their shoes 15 years ago. Us TOO is a great organization to be a part of."

Ted Hinderman
Us TOO Support Group Leader – Northeast Valley, Phoenix, AZ

Photo of Marty Chakoian
"When my prostate cancer unexpectedly recurred, I felt afraid and confused. But with the resources from Us TOO International, and the caring support of other men in our local Us TOO group, I know that I am not alone. Now I face every day with new hope for a cure and new opportunities to receive and offer information, compassion, and friendship."

Marty Chakoian
Us TOO Support Group Leader – Seattle, WA

Photo of Dr. Tom Waters
"I was introduced to Us TOO while working as an American High School Administrator in Germany. This was AFTER I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and treated by having radical prostatectomy surgery in 2002. The District Superintendent, Archie Bates, in Germany was working with an Us TOO member in Arizona, Willie Cotton, and asked me to call Willie. That call and that connection to Us TOO truly changed my life.

Willie explained to me how to establish and set up a prostate cancer support group for those wanting and needing information about this dreadful disease. So, the first Us TOO group in Germany was established at Ramstein American High School on Ramstein Air Base near Kaiserslautern, Germany. Our group began with approximately 20 male and female teachers and administrators from four area schools (high, middle, intermediate, and elementary).

When I returned to the United States in 2008, I looked for a prostate cancer support group and met Jim Gregory in Pahrump, Nevada. We were both retired military and that formed the foundation for our friendship. Jim had served in the Navy and I was in the Air Force. At that time Jim was a 15+ year prostate cancer survivor. I learned a lot from Jim and worked with him until he passed away. As a way of saying thanks, we re-named our Pahrump Chapter the Jim Gregory Chapter."

Dr. Tom Waters
Us TOO Support Group Leader – Pahrump, NV

Photo of Beverly Nicholson
"Facilitating the Us TOO UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center/Dignity Health Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Support Group in Sacramento for the past twenty-five years is the highlight of my oncology nursing career. It gives me great joy and satisfaction to know that our group has touched the lives of so many men and their families."

Beverly Nicholson
Us TOO Support Group Leader – UC Davis, Sacramento, CA

Photo of Norman R. Thoresen
"When I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer almost 18 years ago, I was overwhelmed with the wealth of information available about the disease. In some ways it was too much, with so many choices and options. A big help, though, was my friend and former neighbor, Ken Christensen, who at that time was a prostate cancer survivor for over 6 years. Ken invited me to a local Us TOO support group where I met many more survivors and heard about their stories as well. Since then, after successful surgery, I have become active in several of the support groups in the Milwaukee metro area. Each group has a unique character, yet they all help to support each other in their battle to overcome this cancer. Over the years I have been fortunate to have been involved as a consumer reviewer as part of the Congressional Designated Medical Research Program. This enabled me to meet and work with many dedicated MDs, PhDs and other individuals all working to find better ways to diagnose and treat this cancer.

The Us TOO website is a great resource to be able to keep informed and to refer others. The monthly Hot SHEET and various postings to the Inspire.com online community are also great resources to help us keep up-to-date.

I now know more about prostate cancer than I ever thought about before I was diagnosed. I am grateful for the help Us TOO provides. I feel blessed to have become an active member of the prostate cancer survivor groups. "

Norman R. Thoresen
Us TOO Advocate – Milwaukee, WI

Photo of Richard Vetter
"My first experience with a support group came shortly after my prostatectomy when I attended the Mayo Clinic Chapter of Us TOO. Since then I have come to appreciate the opportunity to hear other men share their stories, as well as the information published by Us TOO on their website and in their literature, including the monthly Hot SHEET newsletter. Us TOO provides tremendous support to its chapter support groups around the nation, provides survivors with encouragement and knowledge, and makes a significant difference in the lives of prostate cancer survivors and their families. "

Richard Vetter
Us TOO Support Group Leader – Rochester, MN

Photo of Duane C. Kent
"I was initially diagnosed with prostate cancer in September of 2002, age 62. Like almost every man when initially told he has cancer, I was shocked, bordering on denial and immobility. How could this be? There was no family history of cancer in my family; I felt good, was very active, and had no symptoms!

My urologist told me about the local Us TOO survivor support group. My wife and I attended the next meeting. There were about 50 men and their wives who gave us an immediate warm welcome, and what we learned in talking with several survivors and their wives was incredibly helpful! They gave us literature and links to other information and websites that saved us a lot of time and effort. They were wonderful, compassionate people!

What I learned later is that the resources that Us TOO provided probably saved my life. Even though I chose surgery, the cancer was already outside of the prostate gland. Through the ongoing information, the Hot SHEET newsletter, and other links, I was able to weave my way through 14 years of proactive treatment decisions that have kept my cancer at bay and my quality of life high on the chart.

In late 2003, I took on the role of Support Group Leader. For those who find our group, it is beyond words – the profound, far-reaching, positive effects that we see in those men and their spouses. They come to the first meeting with fear, confusion, and looking for someone who can give them hope. I can truthfully say that over the years, for the hundreds with whom we have rubbed shoulders, to one degree or another, every single one left with new knowledge, strong confidence, renewed hope, and a defined path on which to proceed.

It has been my honor to be associated with such a compassionate, giving organization! "

Duane C. Kent
Us TOO Support Group Leader – Mobile, AL

Photo of Clarence Williamson
"The only knowledge I had about prostate cancer, prior to my diagnosis at 54 years old, was that it killed men in the most agonizing way. It was a secret and never discussed by family or friends. Only after my PCa surgery did I begin to learn about this disease and the difficulty of making information available to men. While volunteering with ACS, I was guided to Us TOO International. This opened the door and created the opportunity for new relationships with other PCa survivors and their families.

To this day, I believe that early detection is the number one factor in treating prostate cancer. For this very reason, our Us TOO support group is committed to dispersing prostate cancer awareness information whenever and wherever we can. We use the US TOO website and Hot SHEET for much of our information and refer newcomers to do the same. Because most men never experience PCa symptoms during the early stages, we strive to meet with younger men at various public and private events in an effort to stress regular medical checkups and PCa screening, even when feeling healthy. Our Memphis group supports each other, newcomers and anyone seeking information about this disease."

Clarence Williamson
Us TOO Support Group Leader – Memphis, TN