Dear Fellow Advocates and Friends,
This life is filled with many ups and downs. Early this AM I got a great up that I shared with all of you. Now, I received a great down and ask your prayers and thoughts for my good friend and colleague, Max Gardner. Max was the VERY first lawyer to heed my advice and begin the practice or foreclosure defense in 2000 after our meeting at the NCLC meeting in Colorado.
Max has been a great source of strength, inspiration, and insight to me for over 12-years. Our history is well-documented in our recent 2-hour podcast found at http://mandelman.ml-implode.com/2012/03/max-gardner-nye-lavalle-together-in-concert-a-mandelman-matters-podcast/. Max has now publicly released a blog detailing his health issues that some of you know about at http://www.maxbankruptcybootcamp.com/blog.
Max is not going anywhere, but he's cutting down on his boot camps and going to take care of himself and his life and wife. I love this man and would like all of you in this fight to love him too and keep him in your prayers. We all owe him a great deal of gratitude and prayers and positive energy sent his way and to his family is a small price to pay for what he has given and sacrificed for all of us!!!
The following message was sent from Max to his Boot Camp graduates on May 9, 2012.
Dear Boot Campers,
I have always been candid with you about my health issues and I will continue to be candid throughout this very personal process. I last updated you on my health shortly before the San Antonio NACBA conference when I was suffering from symptoms consistent with previous malignant tumor growth in my lungs and bladder. Testing did, in fact, confirm a new tumor growth but this time it was in a new organ, my liver. My medical team has confirmed that it is the same type of tumor in the bladder and lungs, known as a Typical Carcinoid—a relatively non-aggressive cancer.After running more tests, my doctors laid out the different options for me, all with their own advantages and disadvantages. After much thought and discussing it with Vickie, I have decided that I will not undergo any type of surgical intervention with respect to the liver tumor. Rather than surgery, we will only take the necessary medical steps to deal with the negative symptoms related to this type of cancer. The doctors can cite national statistics for survival rates with and without the liver surgery, but because the progression of my cancer has been so unusual, they simply have nothing to compare it to and the statistics are meaningless.
I want you to know that despite the above news, I remain very optimistic. And, quite frankly, I feel very good about the decision we have made. Life is certainly important but the quality of the life we have left may be more important. I also want you all to know that this is not the end of the road for me. I have a job to do and I plan on finishing what I started with your help. Part of my purpose for fully disclosing my health situation to you at this time is to let you know the reasoning behind two decisions I’ve made.
First, I don’t plan on traveling outside of North Carolina to conduct future seminars. Getting on a plane to travel can only increase my chances of getting sick so I plan on traveling only when necessary. Second, beginning this fall, I will discontinue holding boot camps at the farm and hold only larger sessions where I can teach more people at a time and also take some burden off of me and Vickie. The five-day seminars at the Farm are both physically and mentally draining for both of us. The June 7-11 Boot Camp will go on as planned and then I will hold either one or two more Boot Camps at the Farm this summer, which can include another re-boot if there is enough interest. Right now the other possible boot camp dates for Lizmere Farm are July 5-9 and August 2-6.
I’ve made my decisions based on what I believe makes the most sense for me, my family and the goals I want to accomplish and I’d like you to accept these decisions without second guessing or offering advice, no matter how well intentioned. I received hundreds of emails and calls when my health situation required me to cancel my April appearance in San Antonio and you will never know how much each one of those emails and calls meant to me and to Vickie. We consider all of you to be a part of our extended family.
Many of you know that the late Marvin R. Wooten was my all-time favorite Judge and person and friend. Judge Wooten had so many historic quotes that it is hard to know where to start or end with any of them. However, when he could not grant you the relief you requested, he would always say “I’m sorry but you have come to the Goat Man for Wool.” Well, I really and truly have goats at the Farm so in fact and in truth I may now qualify as Judge Wooten’s proverbial Goat Man but I want all of you to know that this Goat Man still has a rather large supply of wool and he intends to give it all out before the goats finally go home.
Thank you for all your support and kind words over all of these many years.