A Real Estate Lion’s Miraculous Tale of Recovery

Dave Liniger, chairman and co-founder of RE/MAX, has a long list of accomplishments. He’s raced cars at Daytona and trained with NASA. He’s parachuted from airplanes and hunted big game in exotic locations around the world. He’s been a police officer and a soldier. How does a guy like that face the idea that he may never walk again?

In late January of last year, Liniger discovered he couldn’t move his legs. What he initially assumed was part of his chronic back pain turned out to be a staph infection that not only ran the entire length of his spine and into his brain stem, but it also spread to his blood, meaning he was septic and in real danger of dying for weeks on end. My Next Step: An Extraordinary Journey of Healing and Hope (Hay House Inc., 2013) is Liniger’s memoir of the next seven months of his life, from feverish hallucinations to drug-induced comas to the long recovery from multiple surgeries and partial paralysis. The book includes short vignettes from family, friends, and professionals who helped care for Liniger in the hospital and through physical therapy.

The book isn’t really about real estate, but the main character might be familiar to real estate pros, even if they’ve never been affiliated with RE/MAX. Liniger has that I’ll-sleep-when-I-die attitude that many successful real estate brokers display through long hours and an ever-present can-do spirit. That kind of determination might lead a person through a tough transaction or office merger, but can it lead a person back from the brink of death?

“I can’t tell you why I’m alive,” Liniger writes at the end of the book. He cites positive thinking, faith in his own strength, luck, and the extensive network of friends and family who were praying for him.

The one thing that abounds in this small volume is Liniger’s advice for anyone going through such a trying physical ordeal (as well as for their loved ones). It was clear from the very beginning of the book that he hopes others can learn and benefit from his story. At the end of the book he admits his purpose for the book:

“As I spent so many nights awake and scared, I desperately wanted to find something I could read to help me understand what I was going through. I wanted a book that inspired me to keep working hard and to motivate me to never give up. I hope this is that book for you.”

I’d recommend this book to anyone enduring a long hospital stay or facing months of PT. But I recommend it even more wholeheartedly knowing that author proceeds from the book will go to three charities: Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the Wounded Warrior Program.

Meg White

Meg White is the managing editor for REALTOR® Magazine and administrator of the magazine's Weekly Book Scan blog. Contact her at mwhite[at]realtors.org.

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  1. Superb Writing! I don’t believe I have ever read a better book about Real Estate in 33 years of selling Real Estate!

  2. Dave,

    As I wrote you, my husband went through the same thing. The family goes through it too. Selling A wonderful doctor a home at the time he was hospitalized, saved his life.
    People think, as Realtors, we make a lot of money and sometimes we do. But we are truly blessed by the wonderful people we meet and what they bring into our lives when God is blessing us for our love of our work & those we help.

    My husband is strong in character and faith as you. There is nothing to compete with those two traits.

    May God continue to bless both of you with His pouring out of love and grace.

    Sincere regards,

    Linda East
    RE/MAX Executives . Houston
    RE/MAX Agent since 1985