Sunday, September 20, 2009

In Memorium

Thomas Lind Mainz, founder and President of (the Danish Brain Tumor Patients' Society) lost his battle to cancer this weekend.

Thomas' symptoms began in 2006 yet it took 16 months before he was finally diagnosed with a brain tumor, a grade II Astrocyte.

After a lengthy battle with "specialists" Thomas was told the tumor was inoperable due to location - it being too close to the brain stem.

Never one to quit Thomas persuaded an American neuro-oncologist to check his patient file pro bono. The conclusion was baffling; where as Danish doctors had already given up the US oncologist replied the tumor was indeed operable. It took Thomas to name-drop before his Danish doctor would even read the foreign 2nd opinion!

Shortly thereafter, late October 2008, Thomas underwent a complicated surgery as per the US oncologists' guidelines - and I was thrilled when a few days later he called to say he was feeling pretty good!

Always a fighter Thomas' pushed himself - too hard at times - and certainly made the most of his "good days". Recovery was not as fast and straight forward as he would have liked, and he felt frustrated when determination alone was not enough to get out of bed.

When Thomas was first diagnosed he was shocked by how little information was available in Danish to brain tumor patients. A truck driver by trade he often joked about the oddity of him being the one to set up a website in Danish about brain tumors ( . This has since become a registered non-profit foundation to gather information on various tumors (cancerous as well as benign) while also serving as a forum for brain tumor patients and their close ones.

I had the honor of meeting Thomas when he registered as a Fighter at Stafet For Livet a.k.a. Relay For Life 2008 in Copenhagen, Denmark - the Capitol Regions first ever! Serving on the Board I was also in charge of the Fighters and Thomas and I had some great conversations on how to make the event as easy on the Fighters as possible.

After the event, and meeting Thomas along with his family I was in awe of this one man battling the Danish socialized health care system. And while Thomas was recovering from surgery I started to assist in turning the private website into a non-profit.

My thoughts and prayers go to Thomas' family - his wife Patricia whom was an immense source of strength and happiness to Thomas, to Preben and Ulla, Thomas' amazing parents, and to Thomas' child.

Cancer knows no difference in age, race, or religious belief. Thomas was my age and newly wed when his life was cut short by this terrible disease.

Please keep Thomas and his family in your prayers.

Rest In Peace Thomas. I am honored to have known you.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Big Dog Vineyards

I try to keep this Blog photography only and post personal tales etc. elsewhere however as this Blog is public and thus accessible for friends of friends here we go:

While in NorCal this July my friend Tanya and I finally had the opportunity to meet up with Mark C. He graciously hosted a private wine tasting and dinner, and took us on a tour of his vineyard.

It was a night of exquisite wine, interesting conversation, and much laughter.

Mark welcoming us to Big Dog Vineyards

Delicious snacks

Tasting Mark's award winning Cabernets

The dog got its name from the grapes, the vineyard got its name from the dog.

Meet Cab.

Barrel tasting. I look forward to this one!

Back lit Tanya

THE. Best. Ribs.


The food was as delicious as the wine.

Great winemaker. Great friend.

Home made ice cream, YUM!

Proof I really WAS there :)

I couldn't resist posting this one of Tanya snapped a few days later.

Mark, Tanya: Thank you both for a truly great night.

Do you like wine? Which is your favorite grape?


Sunday, September 6, 2009


Saturday September 5 2009 Denmark finally celebrated our first ever Flag Day in honor of our Soldiers of Foreign Wars.

I defied the rain and took my camera to the plaza in front of Parliament to honor the men and women that risk their lives fighting to make this world a safer and more peaceful place.

My sincere respect and gratitude to all of you that serve your country.

- A special thought to fellow A Tribe Called Joy Board Member Jeff that will soon return to Afghanistan.

Be safe.