Much admired and respected prostate cancer consumer advocate and PCFA Queensland Board Member Don Baumber passed away on Wednesday 3 April 2013 surrounded by his family.
Don was passionate about the need to find better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer and dedicated much of his life to this pursuit. Don made an outstanding contribution to PCFA and many other cancer and consumer bodies.
Don attended the first gathering of all support groups at Darling Harbour in 2001 and from the outset he impressed as a very passionate worker for the cause.
He was held in high regard by the many medical specialists and most notably during this period Don produced a key paper on the PSA test entitled: “Informed Choice”. The paper did much to steady the controversy at the time, and provided clarity in regard to PCFA’s policy which was to support awareness and informed choice rather than community screening.
Don’s contribution to the prostate cancer community was far-reaching. His value was recognised in 2004 when he was elected as Co-Chairman of SAC with PCFA’s now National Chairman, David Sandoe. During this time he did a great deal to bring the Queensland support groups into the national PCFA Support Group fold and together they worked on the development of the national team.
In April of 2007 Don became an inaugural member of PCFA’s Queensland Board and in November of 2008 he was awarded PCFA’s prestigious Max Gardner Award for meritorious service.
Don’s eagerness to be involved in the prostate cancer community saw him on the consumer network Cochrane Collaboration in 1998 – 2007 as an international contributor, always strongly promoting the consumers’ perspective. He kept himself up to date with the latest research and evolving new treatments.
Don was a founding member of the Australian Cancer Network when a working party was set up to develop clinical guidelines for treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer in Australia for NHMRC approval. This in turn was developed as a guideline to the Consumer Version of the Advanced Prostate Cancer publication.
His involvement with Cancer Voices Australia, Consumers Health Forum and Multidisciplinary Care in Australia kept him busy on many working parties and reviewing literature and advertising materials for a range of cancer groups.
Also, with the Australian Prostate Cancer Collaboration, led by Professor Villis Marshall from Adelaide, he was invited to be on the Education Committee. Don’s connections through other involvements soon had him serving as the consumer representative on the Executive Committee.
As so many of his colleagues in Queensland and around Australia have said he took the initiative and showed great perseverance. This persistence in personally seeking curative treatment, through the diagnostic procedures obtained nationally and internationally, led to him extending the quality of his own life and that of many others.
We are proud to call Don one of PCFA’s most dedicated champions - his ideas, expert opinions and involvement have contributed significantly in the evolution of the present day PCFA - the peak body for prostate cancer in Australia.
10th April, 2013