JANUARY 1, 2021
Survivors Newsletter
is a publication of
News and updates from St. Louis' only prostate cancer awareness, advocacy
and educational community organization.


Mellve Shahid
Inside this edition: January 2021
  • "Think about It"
  • In Memoriam: Julius Rhone, father of TEN Board Member Toryn Rhone
  • Monthly Support Group Meeting, Saturday, January 9th, 2021
  • Interview with longest tenured TEN Board Member, Lorraine Hall, “So Men of TEN, I too have a story of survivorship”
  • A look back at 2020 and peek forward in 2021. Food for thought...
  • Covid-19 Home Defense Plan
  • Make a donation to The Empowerment Network
"I never lose. I either win or learn.
-Nelson Mandela-
The TEN Board of Directors, Staff and the Prostate Cancer Survivors of The Empowerment Network Inc. offer our deepest condolences to the family of TEN Member Toryn Rhone, who lost his Father, Julius Rhone, on Monday, December 28, 2020.

Julius was a long time member of TEN and would consistently attend Support Group meetings along with son. He was a very pleasant man, always smiling. Please keep Mrs. Rhone, Toryn and their family in your prayers.
Join the TEN Zoom Monthly Support Group Meeting
Saturday, January 9th, 2021 @ 10 a.m.

On Computer
Meeting ID: 814 8470 2223
Passcode: 095824

For Audio Only, on mobile: 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 814 8470 2223
Passcode: 095824

“So Men of TEN, I too have a story of survivorship”
End of life educator Lorraine Hall's career is personal
Interview by Walter Pritchard, TEN Media

Lorraine Hall, the longest tenured member of The Empowerment Network Board of Directors, has a heart for people, a heart that beats life into those who are experiencing the sunset in their lives, those who are venturing through health challenges like the prostate cancer that took the life of the man she loved and had planned to marry.

Long before the Covid-19 pandemic turned the world upside down and inflicted mankind with pain, suffering and death, Lorraine’s heart had to beat not just for others, but for her: she lived through a severe stroke on December 15, 2015 that required her to spend Christmas Day and New Year's Day of that year hospitalized. She was in rehab for three long months.

“I continue to struggle with some things; my faith in God for what He has done for me lifts me up and reinvigorates me daily,” Lorraine says. “So Men of TEN, I too have a story of survivorship.”

Below, Lorraine shares her story in her own words.
How did you get involved with TEN? How did you meet Mellve?
I was at a community fair more than 12 years ago, that’s where I met Mellve. He was speaking. I told him my story of the man I loved had died of prostate cancer. Mellve spoke so passionately. My heart hurt all over again and I knew I had to get involved in honor of my friend. Mellve asked me to come to a survivors meeting. I was so moved with the sharing of support for each other from so many men that I joined the Board of Directors. I’ve sat on many boards but TEN is the most meaningful and fulfilling one for me; I often tell the guys they do more for me than I could ever do for them. It’s truly an honor to serve the “MEN of TEN”.

Describe your career in palliative care.
I work as an End of Life Care educator for BJC Hospice. My title is Palliative Care Specialist. I work with patients and families diagnosed with a life limiting illnesses, whose prognosis's are six months or less. The goal is to focus on quality of life and not death. Life is a journey and there are so many stages of our journey. Hospice care is often the final stage of your journey. The hospice care provides the patient and family support during the journey and 13 months after the loved one has transitioned. Many of my hospice families have taught me so much about living life minute to minute and being grateful.
How has the pandemic impacted the heartfelt work you do?
The pandemic has presented many challenges. Many of our patients coming from nursing homes have not seen their loved ones for months. Some patients are dying alone. However, during a hospice stay while at the hospital, families are allowed limited visitation. The pandemic has also forced us to reassess our lives, prioritizing what’s important, making sure the days of past are just that—the past. How will tomorrow look for you? What change will you make?

You had a stroke at such as young age. How has that changed your life?
I’ve been reflecting a lot lately. Five years ago this holiday season I was hospitalized. I spent Christmas and New Year’s Day not sitting with my family at my mother’s dining room table, but lying in a hospital bed because of my stroke on December 15th.

As I think about my recovery, I realize how blessed I am. I remember asking God to restore my health and if He did I would spend the rest of my life doing His work. I am always ready to share my story with others, offering words of encouragement.

Oftentimes SSM Healthcare will call me to speak at their Day Institute where I rehabbed for over three months. I continue to struggle with some things, but my faith in God for what He has done for me reinvigorates me. So Men of TEN, I too have a story of survivorship.

What is the guiding light in your life that makes you want to get up every morning?
God has blessed me with this gift and I will forever do HIS work. To follow my career is to understand who I am and whose I am. GOD first, family second, life itself and the Mighty Men of TEN!!!!!!!!!
The Gentlemen, and Lady of TEN, answer the questions:
What were some of the achievements, things you did in 2020 that will caring you over into the new year? What are you most thankful for?

“At the beginning of 2020, I was wondering what can I get
materially for myself and family. At the end of 2020, I’m
grateful for what we have. I’m alive.

The growth I’ve received from praying with TEN is priceless. I’ve grown spiritually and more open to guidance by the Holy Spirit
which has increased my love of God. I’m so blessed.”
-Jimmie Lee Wilson

“I am grateful that I was able to overcome an attack of the CORONAVIRUS in March. I was hospitalized for six days, but God blessed me to pull through. I had strong antibodies that fought this virus vigorously.

I am doing well. Since I have been sheltering in place I have become a much cook.”
-James Ward

“On February 29, 2020, I retired from General Motors after 51 and half years. I was 18 years old when I started working at GM. And even more, my wife, retired at the same time with me after 40 years at GM. I am a 11 year prostate cancer survivor.”
-Hayward Gill, 11 year prostate cancer survivor

“I am thankful for being a member of TEN. I am also very thankful for surviving and recovering from Covid-19. I am so blessed.”
-Leonard Holloway, prostate cancer survivor
2020 was an emotionally challenging year for me. But I found my strength in the Lord.

Through it all, my wife, Nina and I, have become closer sharing our rich love for each other, I’m teaching myself how to play the guitar, developed into ‘gourmet cook’ (my wife bought me a new cookware set), I’ve read some interesting books (such as ‘A Promised Land’ by former President Barack Obama) and watched entertaining movies.

One more thing, in 2020, I’ve got to know the men of TEN. You guys are wonderful; thinks for the friendships.”

-Walter Pritchard, with my 18 month old granddaughter, AiReonna
“I’m thankful that the Lord brought me through a year where we lost more than 330,000 to Covid-19. God spared me and I recovered from the virus. I could have been in that number, too, if it for God grace and mercy.

And on May 24, 2020, God gave me a wife, Karen. I was contemplating leaving St. Louis. My daughter wanted me to move to Texas to a beautiful senior citizens complex. But the Lord had over plans. I met my wife at a church function. And something just clicked in me—and in her, too.

Our coming together was not our doing. ‘What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.’ ”
-William C Clemons, 12 year prostate cancer survivor

My Relationship with my Lord and Savior has grown tremendously. Being able to transfer from carnal thinking to spiritual thinking has been a blessing.

Seeing life through spiritual eyes changes your perspective. Humility has taught me so much and I'm Thankful for acknowledging God's Grace and Mercy.

The biggest testimony was witnessing my wife's recovery from brain surgery. Miracles are real.
-Djuan Robinson, nine year prostate cancer survivor

“I thankful that I made it to see 2021, all in one piece. My health didn’t decline. My family is all well. That’s a blessing.

I’ve enjoyed many classic movies with personalities like Barbara Stanwyck, Bettie Davis, Susan Haywood and Kirk Douglas. There were no black people in those old movies back then, but they were still good. Gives you a time to self-reflect.”

-Robin Wright-Jones, TEN Executive Director
“One of my proudest moments in 2020 was watching the accomplishments and the achievements of my family in a year filled with uncertainties. I had family members graduating from college and major universities, starting new businesses, writing books and receiving job promotions.

My wife, Hurnietha, and children, found ways in 2020 to answer life’s complex problems by working hard, staying focused, being creative and asking God for assistance when many Americans gave up HOPE. Their accomplishments has brought me joy and I'm thankful for the many talents God has blessed them with in 2020.”
-Mellve Shahid Sr., 13 year prostate cancer survivor 
Our mission statement
The Empowerment Network, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit prostate cancer advocacy organization working to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable high risk,
urban males aged 35+ years.

Support the Empowerment Network with your financial giving. To MAKE A DONATION,
Contact The Empowerment Network @ 314.385.0998
Survivors Newsletter is developed, written and edited
by Walter Pritchard, Communications Specialist
Soaring High Media Group
314.338.1436; walt@soaringhighmediagroup.com