Hero Dean & Patti Williams

Dean & Patti Williams

Dean & Patti Williams

Dean and Patti first met Herb and Charlene in 2003 when they moved in across the street from them. From the first day they introduced themselves and spent time with Herb & Charlene, they felt like family. They really hated to see Herb & Charlene move several years later, however, they continuously did things with them until Herb’s passing. Charlene is still a part of their lives and they clearly cherish the time they spend with her. If Herb needed help with anything, Dean and Patti were there to lend a helping hand with support and a smile. If Herb or Charlene needed a ride somewhere, a prescription picked up, anything; the answer was always, yes. It was quite clear what Herb meant to Dean & Patti at the funeral, as Dean tearfully spoke of the fact that Herb was like a Father to him and truly considered him, Family. Please join us in recognizing and congratulating Dean & Patti Williams as our Herbies Heroes.

Patti works at Florida State College at Jacksonville and is the Resource Development Grant Manager. In her spare time she enjoys sun bathing, shopping, gardening, and experimenting in the kitchen.

Dean is a retired Naval Officer and has been teaching Navy JROTC for thirteen years. He currently teaches Orange Park High. He enjoys, bowling, fishing, gardening, and gaming. They both enjoy riding motorcycles on the weekends.

They have two children: Megan, 22yo graduate from University of North Florida. She works at Best Bets as a poker dealer. She seeking to further her education by attending Law School. Blake, 19yo is currently attending Florida State College at Jacksonville. He plans to major in the STEM field.

Hero Elizabeth Kent

Dr Elizabeth Kent

Dr Elizabeth Kent

Dr. Elizabeth Kent is our Hero. Dr. Kent was called in to assist in the care of Herb after he returned to Florida from his 7 months of Chemo & Radiation. Herb started experiencing breathing issues and pain in his chest at which time he was admitted to Orange Park Medical Center. Dr. Kent was aggressive in determining the cause of his discomfort, in which it was determined the Cancer had metastasized in to his lungs. After communicating with Herb’s Doctors in Houston at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Unfortunately, due to the extreme amount of Chemo Herb has already received, Dr. Kent was unable to offer any type of treatment, at which point her main focus became making Herb as comfortable as possible. She was professional yet caring and sympathetic to Herb and the Family and along with checking on Herb often, confirming he was not in any pain, she helped educate the entire Family on what to expect and the process of what was to come. For these reasons, please join me in Thanking and congratulating Dr. Elizabeth Kent for being our Hero.

Dr. Elizabeth Kent is board certified in oncology and practices at the Cancer Specialists of North Florida Fleming Island and Orange Park locations. She began practicing medicine in 2004, and joined Cancer Specialists of North Florida in 2013. Prior to CSNF she practiced at the Freeman Cancer Institute in Joplin, MO.

Dr. Kent enjoys all aspects of hematology and oncology, but she particularly enjoys and has a passion for breast cancer, both treatment and prevention in high risk women, as well as cancer genetics and genetic counseling, and palliative care. “Everyone here clearly has the best interest of the patient as his/her main focus, and they proceed with each patient’s care with both empathy and humor, which is a rare combination,” she says.

Originally from Bloomfield Hills, MI, she currently lives with her husband and four children in Middleburg, FL. All her free time is spent enjoying life with her husband and children. They especially enjoy sports and the water. Dr. Kent adds, “When the kids are all busy or asleep (rare), I love to garden, read, and play the piano.”

Degree: Medical –Wayne State University School of Medicine
Internship: Mayo Graduate School of Medicine – Rochester, MN
Residency: Mayo Graduate School of Medicine – Rochester, MN
Fellowship: University of Michigan — Hematology & Medical Oncology
Certification: Oncology

Hero Gail Travis

Gail Travis

Gail Travis

July Hero….Gail was very involved not only in Herb’s life and medical care throughout his battle with Cancer, but also the entire Ellerbe family for the entire 35 years that they have been in the Orange Park area. She first oversaw the treatment of Charlene, Herb’s wife of 56 years, for her many bouts with Asthma and allergies. Over the years Gail became part of the Ellerbe family as not only a Medical caretaker but also a true friend of the family. Her ongoing support and assistance throughout Herb’s treatment was beneficial to the healing and comforting process for both Herb and Charlene. Gail is a special person and a true friend to the family, and for these reasons, it is no secret why she is our Hero.

Present Title & Affiliation: LPN for Dr. Peter Pitocchi M.D.

Personal: Born in Quincy Ma.

Education: 1976 Graduated from Crawford County AVTS Nursing Program Meadville Pa.

Moved to Jacksonville FL October 1976

1977-1986 Employed at Orange Park Medical Center (OPMC)
Helped set up first special procedures/GI Lab at OPMC
Became a member of Society of Gastrointestinal Assistants (SGA)
Ran GI Lab at OPMC under direction of Dr. Patrick A. Duffy

1986-2007 Took position at Orange Park Internal Medicine (OPIM) working with John P. Arnold as his staff nurse.

2009-Present Took part time position working with Dr. Peter J. Pitocchi as a staff nurse.

Hero Kathryn Lebow

Kathryn Lebow

Kathryn Lebow

Kathryn (Katie) Lebow is our Hero and the winner of the Inaugural Herbies Heroes Scholarship in the amount of $1000.

Seniors of Orange Park High School (where Herb resided and both of his boys graduated from) were asked to write a 1 page essay on how Cancer has affected them, whether it was a friend or family member that was stricken with this disease, and what they felt they could do individually, to help in the search for a cure. Several of the 2014 graduating Seniors responded to our request, and It means a great deal to our Family that they would take the time to share their personal experience, and we especially appreciate that they are so passionate about making a difference in the search for a cure.

Katie is the executive producer of mass media production at school. Katie is also in band, an officer in the Thespian Honor Society, National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society.

Katie’s winning essay:

“My grandfather was diagnosed with Stage 3 Esophageal Cancer in November of 2012 and passed away due to complications from treatment on July 19th, 2013. This may seem unfeeling of me to put this as my very first statement, but it is not. I feel as if the time lapse between November and July, that nine months, is an extremely significant factor in the grief I survive every day. In the time that a new life could be brought into the world, one was ravaged and tormented by this horrifying disease.
My grandfather fought for his life every second after he was diagnosed, and we fought with him. I suffered sleepless nights, anxiety-ridden days, and tear-filled reminiscing; my mother (his daughter) suffered as she tried to give me strength and hold her own. This fight was no where near as painful and detrimental as the fight that my grandfather underwent. He was strong and independent, had never been sick a day in his life, was full of love and advice, and never turned his back on family, and here he was, sitting in a hospital bed with no hair and eighty pounds lighter. He couldn’t eat and he hated having to rely on others to help him with every day tasks such as sitting up and going to the bathroom. Had he been in good health, my grandfather would have been mortified by the dependence he now embodied.
My grandfather was the impetus that urged me onto the career path that I have chosen to follow. He loved nature and could tell you everything about the trees around him and the birds soaring through the air, and this filled me with absolute reverence. I wanted to make him proud. My grandfather lives within my heart and will for my entire life. He made me the independent and motivated young woman that I am today by forcing me to be mature and strong from a young age; much like he did my mother. I am going to Florida State University in order to study Environmental Science until I receive my doctoral degree in this biological science. This would have made my grandfather proud and he would be happy that I haven’t given up because I miss him.

My grandfather would not want anyone to mourn him, much less pity him, he would want us to celebrate the life he led and the impact he left on the hearts of others, and that is exactly what I intend to do.

I plan to help in the search for a cure by studying the environment and finding natural remedies for this debilitating disease that turned my grandfather from a strong black bear into a weak cub. By studying the impact of certain actions on the environment, I can learn of the effects of the environment on people. If I study these interactions, I intend to make developments in the search for a cure. I will search to the ends of the earth for a cure in loving memory of my grandfather and his legacy, just as he would want for the others infected by this tormenting disease.”

She is definitely on her way to doing great things, and this is why she is our June 2014 Hero.

Hero Peter Pitocchi

Dr. Peter Pitocchi

Dr. Peter Pitocchi

Dr. Pitocchi was Herb’s Internist in Orange Park, Fl. for many years, and upon a basic annual physical examination in 2010 is when the discovery of the cancer process started. Dr. Pitocchi ran a slew of tests and once the problem was located, referred him to the Urologist to proceed with the necessary treatment. If it wasn’t for Dr. Pitocchi’s swift action, the Cancer may have spread quicker, and lessened the chances of any type of recovery or remission. Dr. Pitocchi stayed in contact with Herb throughout his treatment in Florida, as well as through the treatment in Texas. After 7 months of Chemo and radiation in Texas, Herb went back to Florida for a 2 month break in which Dr. Pitocchi kept a close eye on Herb. Unfortunately, Herb developed some chest pain while back in Florida and it was Dr. Pitocchi that led the charge in determining the cause and game planning a potential treatment. The Cancer had spread to his lungs, and because he was so weak from the treatment he received in Texas, he was unable to receive any type of treatment. It was Dr. Pitocchi that notified the family that it would be prudent for all family members to get to Florida for Herbs last days. For these reasons, Dr. Peter Pitocchi is our Herbies Hero.

Present Title & Affiliation:

Dr. Perter Pitocchi M.D.

Professional Address:

1555 Kingsley Ave

Orange Park, Fl. 32073



Born in Tampa, Fl in 1964


University of Florida

Gainesville, Fl.

1982-1985 Bachelor of Science in Basic Biologic and Medical Sciences

Junior Honors Medical Program

Medical Education:

University of Florida

Gainesville, Fl.

1985-1989 Doctor of Medicine

Training & Residency:

University of Alabama

Birmingham, Al.

1989-1992 Internal Medicine

Awards and Honors:

Phi Beta Kappa


The Effect of Chronic Ethanol

Ingestion of the Inotropic

Effect of Nifedipine

Res Common Chem Pathol Pharmacol 1986 May, 52 (2):269-72

Hero Beth Johnston

Beth Johnston

Beth Johnston

The Doctors in charge of Herb’s care at MD Anderson were the coaches of the team who layed out the plan of attack for his treatment. Beth Johnston, shown in this picture, was one of many, instrumental in carrying out those plans. Nursing excellence is a central pillar in MD Anderson’s worldwide reputation for cancer care. Nursing at MD Anderson is filled with bright, motivated and caring employees. They are technically and intellectually prepared to provide the best cancer care available. Nearly 2,500 professional nurses work at the clinics and hospital as direct care providers, research nurses, advanced practice nurses, case managers and in numerous other roles. These men and women were a phenomenal group who were just as interested and determined to implement the game plan initiated by the Doctors, and see to it that not only was Herb comfortable during his aggressive treatment plan, but that each and every detail was followed to a T. For these reasons and many more, the Nurses and Aide’s at MD Anderson are our Heroes.

Hero Seungtaek Choi

Dr. Seungtaek L Choi, M.D.

Dr. Seungtaek L Choi, M.D.

Dr. Seungtaek L Choi, who worked in conjunction with Dr. Jeri Kim (Oncologist), was the Radiation specialist who spearheaded the Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) treatment Herb received. This is a type of 3-dimensional radiation therapy that uses computer-generated images to show the size and shape of the tumor. Thin beams of radiation of different intensities are aimed at the tumor from many angles. This type of radiation therapy reduces the damage to healthy tissue near the tumor.  Dr. Choi was determined to assist in getting the Cancer under control, and making Herb as comfortable as possible throughout his treatment. For his determination and loyalty, Dr. Choi is our March 2014 Hero.


Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Clinical Medical Director, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Office Address

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1840 Old Spanish Trail
Unit Number: 1150
Houston, TX 77054
Room Number: PTC1.2024
Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY, MD, Medicine
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, BS, Nuclear Engineering

Postgraduate Training

Clinical Fellowship, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, Dr. Thomas Buchholz
Clinical Residency, Radiation Oncology, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA, Dr. James Douglas
Clinical Internship, Internal Medicine, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, Dr. Jan Tillisch

Board Certifications

American Board of Radiology

Other Appointments/Responsibilities

Adjunct Member, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX, 12/2007-8/2008

Honors and Awards

Alpha Omega Alpha
Glickman Fellowship in Gynecological Oncology, New York Hospital, New York, NY
Roy Axford Award for Outstanding Senior, Nuclear Engineering Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Finalist in the American Nuclear Society Design Project Contest, American Nuclear Society
Irving Kaplan Award for Outstanding Junior, Nuclear Engineering Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
National Engineering Honors Society, Tau Beta Pi
National Nuclear Engineering Honors Society, Alpha Nu Sigma
Park A. and Ann L. Hodges Prize for Scientific Writing

Professional Memberships

American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
Member, 2001-present

Hero Jeri Kim

Dr. Jeri Kim, M.D

Dr. Jeri Kim, M.D

Dr. Jeri Kim was the Oncologist involved in the treatment (Chemotherapy) of Herb Ellerbe. The side effects of chemotherapy depend on the type of chemotherapy and the amount given. Anticipating and managing side effects can help to minimize them and provide the best possible experience for the person receiving chemotherapy. Dr. Kim was instrumental in the process of getting him started on his regimen, and spent countless hours fine tuning the process and trying to make him as comfortable as possible throughout his difficult treatment. For her perseverance and devotion to helping Herb through this, she is our “Hero”.


Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1993 University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, MD, Medicine
1988 University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, BS, Biochemistry

Board Certifications

2006 Medical Oncology
1996 American Board of Internal Medicine


Academic Appointments

Associate Member, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, Houston, TX, 9/2010-present
Member, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, Houston, TX, 8/2006-8/2010
Assistant Professor, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 1999-2005

Administrative Appointments/Responsibilities

Director, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology – Research Biorepository, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 1999-present

Honors and Awards

2005 Participation in AACR Task Force on Prevention Meeting
2004 Incentive Salary Award
2001-2004 Clinician Investigator Program Career Development Award
2001 Institutional Research Grant Award
1998 Clinical Fellows Research Award
1998 Participation in ASCO/AACR Methods in Clinical Cancer Research, Third Annual Workshop
1997 Clinical Fellows Research Award
1996-1997 Clifton D. Howe Award for Clinical Excellence
1990-1991 Fifth Year Research Scholar, Experimental Cutaneous Injury Due to Hydrofluoric Acid
1987 National Science Foundation Summer Research Fellowship: Organic Chemistry
1984-1988 Dean’s Honor List, University of California, Los Angeles

Hero Colin Dinney

Dr. Colin Dinney

Dr. Colin Dinney

Dr. Colin Dinney is our inaugural “Herbies Hero” because he was the first Doctor my Father saw upon his arrival to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston in January 2013, and from the moment he met my Father, he was clearly on a mission to, if not cure the Cancer, at least slow the growth process down. My Father flew in to Houston on a Sunday, met with Dr. Dinney on a Monday, had hours upon hours of testing, and by Wednesday of that same week, he was receiving Chemotherapy. Dr. Dinney was determined to help curb this process and at the same time, because he recognized his age and fragile status, wanted to make my Father as comfortable as possible during his treatment. My Father survived another 9 months because of the “Heroic” actions set in place by Dr. Dinney, and for that, he is a true Hero.