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Thrainn Thorvaldsson

VP of International Operations

Thrainn was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February 2005 with PSA 10 and Gleason 6(3+3) with second opinion 7(3+4). His markers allowed him to choose Active Surveillance instead of a treatment against doctor advice as Active Surveillance was not so widely acknowledged at that time. Now 13 years later he is still doing fine. His PSA has been fluctuating most likely from other causes than PC and is today 7.4. Thrainn has had two biopsies in early part of his diagnosing time but later been under surveillance by MRI both in Holland and Iceland. He has not been cured of PC but has been able to keep the cancer under control and maintained his quality of life.

Thrainn has been making presentations in Iceland about PC and appeared in media. Currently he is making presentations about how to be diagnosed and live with prostate Cancer. His presentations include 10 questions which he believes men who are diagnosed with PC need to have answered. In 2014 Thrainn had the initiative together with Sigurdur Skulasaon to establish what is to believed to be the first internationally independent Active surveillance support group.

Thrainn was born in1944 in Iceland. He has a business degree from the University of Iceland and a Masters degree in marketing and sales from the University of Lancaster in the UK. Thrainn is retired and his business carrier has been in the export industry. The last company he directed and was one of the founders of is SagaMedica ehf. His wife is Elin and they worked together building up SagaMedica. They have been married for 50 years and have had 4 children, 3 are alive and the grandchildren are 8. Thrainn claims that in his retirement he and his wife are enjoying the best time of their lives.

Mark Lichty Headshot.

Mark Lichty

Chairman of the Board

Mark Lichty was diagnosed with prostate cancer over 15 years ago. Due to the tragic overtreatment of his father’s prostate cancer, he was inspired to explore the uncertain terrain of what was then called watchful waiting. His journey involved major lifestyle changes including adopting a plant-based diet.  Mark has written of his journey with the last article appearing in PCRI Insight magazine the Fall of 2017 and on this website. He hopes to inspire men to take charge of their A S journey. He is grateful for the support and leadership that PCRI and ASPI has provided which has given him the strength of spirit to continue his journey. He is honored to be the chair a group of men on active surveillance (AS). In his career, Mark has been an attorney, owned a metal fabricating firm, and most recently produced Groundswell Rising, a film on the fracking movement. He is married to Wendy Lichty, resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and has three sons.

Bill Manning Headshot

Bill Manning

Executive Director

Bill was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009.  An initial pathology report showed a Gleason score of 3+3=6, Stage T1c, with 5% cancer cells in 1 of 12 cores. Bill carefully evaluated his options and chose an active surveillance regimen, as opposed to surgery promoted by his urologist while making adjustments to his diet. “The red meat was swapped for tofu and veggies. Oh yes – no dairy.” Four years later in 2014, a pathology report from a targeted biopsy showed no prostate cancer could be found. With diligent adherence to diet and exercise eleven years after the first diagnosis, and with multiple Color Doppler Ultrasounds, multiple mpMRI’s, fluctuating PSA’s and bi-annual checkups Active Surveillance is still his prescribed “treatment”.

Bill has been a member of a local prostate cancer support group, I.P.C.S.G. since Sept 2009.  He has been working with newly diagnosed men who come to the meetings with the deer-in-the-headlights look. After hearing the “C” word they learn there is time to put on the brakes, time to educate yourself and make informed vs. emotional decisions that can have lifelong implications. Be your own case manager!

Bill studied Architecture at Mesa College and later Business Administration, Computer Science, Advertising/Journalism at San Diego State University. He owned an auto restoration business that morphed into computer programming and later video production as a cameraman and editor. He has been involved in a wide range of video projects over the last 30 years including sign language instruction, rare animal conservation, school band instruction, chronic pain treatment and prostate cancer education. He was a founding member of the San Diego Green Business Network and has also been active in groups promoting environmental ecology and education. For fun there is hiking, paddle boarding, and playing bass guitar in bands on and off for decades. Bill is married and has 2 adult children.

George McLennan

Geoffrey (“Geoff”) McLennan

Geoffrey (“Geoff”) McLennan was born in the Notre Dame de Grace district of Montreal Canada and later immigrated to Oakland, California in 1957. Geoff followed the community driven culture of the Bay Area and was involved in music, cultural equity and justice, a life for the disabled, and parklands. After graduating from UC Berkeley in 1975, Geoff moved to Sacramento, California to work in the legislature on workforce change, and later settled into a 36 year career in state civil service and executive management while volunteering in city and regional efforts including public works, city planning, oak tree and historical preservations, patient-centered cancer care, regional mental healthcare, and recently back to job creation during a recession. During his studies at UC Berkeley he researched consequences for basic research under the Conquest of Cancer Act, 1975. Geoff’s journey on AS began in 2011 with local urologists and moved to the UCSF Urology Center in 2012 where he has a flat PSA and diagnosed with Gleason 3+3, and with MRIs and biopsies. His current foci are: whether further biopsy can be effectively replaced with better imaging for low risk men on AS, and in a clear platform for patient/doctor relationships. Carpe Diem!

Govinda Ramakrishna

Govinda Ramakrishna was born in Kerala in India and has lived in India, United States and Canada. He has travelled extensively in Europe, United States, Canada, Australia, Russia ( including Siberia ), Middle East and Japan. At present lives with his wife, Rema Kumar, in Toronto, Canada during summer months and in Kochi, India during winter.

Govinda is a Mechanical Engineer by profession and retired as the President and CEO of a large Engineering Company in India. After retirement he was on the Board of Directors of a number of Engineering companies and is an Engineering and Management consultant.

Govinda was diagnosed with low grade, Gleason 6, Prostate Cancer in 2015 and chose to opt for Active Surveillance protocol. After almost two years in Active Surveillance, his PSA level went up to 5.4 and was advised to do a second biopsy. The results showed an Intermediate stage, medium risk Prostate Cancer with a Gleason score of 7 ( 4+3 ). He was strongly advised by his Urologist to start on active treatment regimen at the earliest.

Being a detailed oriented person by nature and training, Govinda decided to be the CEO of his own health and treatment planning with invaluable support from his wife Rema, son Vinu Warrier, daughter Dr.Malini Warrier and their spouses.

After lot of research and consultations with 5 different Urologists and Radiation Oncologists, Govinda decided to sign up for an International Clinical Trial, called PACE, and was treated with SBRT ( Cyber knife ), a focused, high dose version of External Beam Radiation. The treatment and recovery phase went off well and after about 6 years there are no serious side effects and he leads a normal busy life. The Clinical trial was a success and SBRT was approved by the Canadian Health System at the end of the trial.

Govinda is an active member of a number of Prostate Cancer Support Groups in United States and Canada and is an Accredited Peer Navigator for Prostate Cancer Patients in Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada, which is a “Centre of Excellence “for Cancer treatment in Canada. He is a regular Volunteer at the Urology Clinic in Odette Cancer Centre.

Govinda feels that ASPI can be the pioneer in India for promoting Active Surveillance as the preferred first choice for management of Low and Low Intermediate risk Prostate Cancer. As of now, Active Surveillance is not considered as a serious long term option in India.

Martin Gewirtz

Martin has enjoyed a varied career over the past 40 years, working across industries with businesses, non-profits, start-ups, artists, and entrepreneurs.  He has raised funds for charities and built a firm providing management services to businesses and individuals.  Additionally, he generated over $2 million in art sales for a non-profit foundation in California, eventually representing private art collectors.  Martin has succeeded in increasing visibility and revenue for clients through marketing and business development, research, and social media.  He has also volunteered for non-profit organizations in various capacities and enjoys playing piano for charity events and elderly homes.

Martin was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018 from a TRUS biopsy based on a PSA jump to 5.0.  The pathology report showed a Gleason score of 6 in 2 of 12 cores.  A subsequent confirming transperineal biopsy revealed nine benign samples, which allowed him to adopt an AS protocol.  This includes a plant-based diet, regular exercise, and periodic PSA and imaging tests.  He regularly investigates the latest PCa studies and participates in conferences and support groups.  Martin was a patient peer reviewer for the AUA’s 2022 revisions of its Prostate Cancer Guidelines and recently launched a blog under the auspices of CancerABCS,  Martin is a certified Patient Advocate and enjoys helping patients navigate their PCa journeys after their diagnoses.

As Secretary of the ASPI Board of Directors, Martin brings his experience and skill sets to the organization to effect positive change and help make a difference in others’ lives.

Alexandra Scholz

Alexandra Scholz serves as CEO of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping prostate cancer patients and their families research their treatment options. In 2010, she began her prostate cancer training and worked as a public relations consultant for PCRI. In 2013, she began working in public relations and patient education for Prostate Oncology Specialists, a private clinic dedicated to expert prostate cancer treatments through medical oncology. Due to her training and passion for patients, she transitioned back to the PCRI, where she currently leads a team dedicated to providing reliable, unbiased prostate cancer information to patients and caregivers worldwide. She serves on multiple prostate cancer advisory boards, leadership boards and is a strong advocate for patient education.