My son, Max Gold Dwares, passed away a the age of 20 on February 18, 2004, from complications related to a bone marrow transplant that he had on July 27, 2001 to cure him of chronic myelogenous leukemia. While battling leukemia in 2001, Max began writing a book, but he eventually became too ill to finish it. After he passed away, I wanted to complete the book, but it was too painful. One day, my granddaughter was visiting and saw me looking through some papers and folders. She asked what I was doing and I told her I was trying to write this book. Little Maya, who is named after Max, said, "Pappa, I know Max died and lives in the sky, finish the book." That was all the motivation I needed to finish telling Max's story!
The book is Max's Story as told by him (and continued by me) and captured by photographs by myself and other family friends in black and white and a few color photos as Max began his chemotherapy until his untimely demise at the tender age of twenty.
The book was in the initial stages by Max, but stopped as Max grew sicker, leading to his death. Max asked me to continue his book shortly before he passed away as a tribute to everyone left behind, but more importantly, as a reminder that while disease can be brutal and take lives, a positive attitude and faith can take you forward.
Faith comes in many shapes and flavors. It doesn't matter what race or religion one is. Max was born in the Jewish faith, but believed we are all created equal in the eyes of God. Max, from an early age, always seemed somewhat special. What I mean was he had a unique ability to seem to get along with adults and understand how they felt. He always knew what words to say to offer comfort and understanding. This continued throughout his life.
This book, while at times quite emotional and honest, hopefully will serve as a guide for families going through a disease and how one reacts and lives through the process. It's a story of hope and dreams, of faith and questioning, and of one's belief in the eternal God when death appears around the corner. It's also a story of dreams and trying to attain them.
It's a story of how families rely and rally around each other when the times get rough. It's a story of how someone battling cancer still needs to carry on and live life to the best, and it's a story and testament to a young man who lived a short time but accomplished so much and has left a lasting legacy.
It's a story of how one's belief in God during good times and bad will serve as a beacon to guide one's spirit forward during the journey of life and life beyond.
The book is entitled " Live to the Max" , which can be purchased on
for $18. All proceeds will benefit The Tomorrow Fund at Hasbro Children's Hospital and the
National Foundation for Transplants.