The Martell and Katina Bland
Patient Education Program
Katina and family-
I just now learned of Martell's passing and felt compelled to tell you what an honor, privilege and pleasure it was to get to take care of him during his cancer journey. He was an incredible, kind, strong and courageous man and I felt so inspired by him in every way. It was also so readily obvious how strong your love was and I so deeply sorry for your loss. I am sending all of you so much love, good energy and prayers and am always here for you for anything.
_Amanda Schwer MD
To the Bland Family,
No words can express the sorrow over your wonderful father and husband passing. I cannot imagine what you are going through and my thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Martell was not only a colleague but a true friend! Each time I would walk in our Irvine office I would see him with his beautiful smile. Not one day would go by without him asking how my daughters are or about my husband's writing. He was a genuine and empathetic leader that cared about each person. He was always in the moment and present. His memory will always live with his Microsoft family.
May he rest in peace and accept my deepest condolences,
From the very first day he started at Microsoft, Martell and I had a special connection. At that time, there weren't very many people of color in the Orange County office, and we bonded over a desire to build our community and offer one another encouragement and support. Martell was a fabulous leader, he helped create the Southern California chapter of Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) and was a valued part of the leadership team.
On a personal level, he loved to tease me about what he thought was my "family" nickname. He kept trying to guess it and ended up calling me 'Lene Lene" when he couldn't. It was our running joke. Through the years we worked together, many of his team members told me that he was the best manager they ever had, and I could easily see why. His concern and empathy for everyone he worked with was obvious and greatly appreciated. He offered me career advice, because although I never reported to him, he was interested in seeing me succeed. He spoke often of his faith, and it was clear that it was an essential part of him.
His family will be forever in my prayers as he rests in eternal peace
Martell was a trusted friend, a great leader and a devoted family man. His smile, positive energy and sense of humor always added so much to every life he touched. It was an honor to work with him at ADP & WebEx, to see him grow and help others become even more successful. He touched many lives and will be remembered affectionately.
Martell made a huge impression on our family. He is the epitome of loyalty, hard work paying off, dedication but more importantly LOVE! For two years we were eyewitnesses to a Father's love for his children. We, like many, feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to know such an amazing man of Christ! We love you so much Martell and We love your family with all our heart!
To the Bland family –
Your Dad/Husband started at Microsoft around the same time as me in 2011. We had the same job, reporting to the same leader and were both new managers at Microsoft, he in SoCal and me in Phoenix. Martell and I instantly clicked over a mutual connection we both had. One of my best friends back in NM is good friends with Martell's college buddy Ivan. We became friends at work and talked often as we both moved on from our original roles and expanded our careers.
Martell was always willing to share stories with me about your family, coaching basketball, taking vacations together. Aside from being incredibly good at his job, what always stood out more to me was what a thoughtful and amazing person he was. His face lit up when he talked about his family, he was genuine and caring and it showed through in everything he did.
My heart is breaking for your family as you grieve his loss, I wish I had words that would help ease your pain but there simply are none. I realize you already know this, but I wanted to say he was a great friend and colleague, was darn good at his job and at leadership, was a man of integrity in everything he touched – I will miss him.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
With deep sympathy,
_JP (J.P. Westwood)
On behalf of the entire Heart family, please know you are loved and cherished...praying for everyone...
I'm Robbyn Alexis, Katina Bland is my cousin -we share the same great grandparents .
I remember when Katina met Martell, I remember their dynamic energy together. To know them is to love them. Martell is the definition of a gentleman. I've seen him support Katina through so much. The perfect couple in my eyes. My heart is broken because Martell had a full life to live. But I think about his legacy, and legacy isn't always about money. Legacies are about your contribution and his wife and children are his legacy. I've never seen such beauty within one family. I am honored Martell is my cousin, I am honored to know him. I know that Katina knows that we are here for her and their children, whatever they may need. Katina has always been so excellent to us and during this time we will surely be of service to her.
Martell, we were all blessed with your presence and we will miss you dearly.
I don't know where to start. It was in December 2016 where I got the chance to first meet Martell. It was in an interview for a position at Microsoft as a technology strategist. When I went to the interview I was practically shaking. I didn't know him. His tone of voice almost immediately put me at ease. I felt that the interview went OK. He was firm on his questions but there was a level of care that came through his eyes that I cannot to this day explain. I got accepted for the position and started to work with him and that's when the direction of my life would start to change, without me knowing. The conversations I had with him throughout the years helped shape who I am to this day and how I lead and serve.
I remember the first lesson he taught me, It was "to listen actively, and then confirm my understanding back to the person I was speaking to.". That lesson alone changed how I looked at the world. I miss him dearly and as I write this I am parked on the side of the street because I just heard the news about 10 minutes ago and I can no longer drive. I modeled one of the core values of our company (Communication) after him. His values are ingrained not only my life but also will continue to be ingrained in the life of others that I will have the opportunity to serve.
I know his family has lost more than what my tiny brain can imagine. I want to be there for them, not just in words but in action but I don't know how to get a hold of his family. This is the only address that was given so it would mean the world to me to get to talk to his family and meet them so not only I can pay my respects but also maybe in the smallest way possible I could help them carry the torch.
I'm sorry for my broken English or grammar and English is my second language but I hope to be able to serve and help you.
My heart is with you,Kindest regards,
Katina and Martell : We were given their names by Dr. Danny when he asked if we would chat with them about Sherm's treatment. Our first conversation was over a couple of hours on the phone and we felt like family immediately! Their faith was amazing and so inspirational. Such a beautiful couple in every sense!
Martell you will be truly missed but please know that you are forever a part of our Exon 20 family! I know that our other amazing Exon 20 friends welcomed you with open hearts and arms! We will continue to fight for them , for you and all of our other friends who are still on this journey. The short time we knew you, we knew you were someone special. Your love for our Lord shined through you. Katina and your children are part of our Exon 20 family too and our prayers will continue for them today and always. Our thanks to you and your family as you helped the lung cancer community by participating in clinical trials for patients today and for patients in the future.
With love ❤️
_Susan and Sherman Johnson
The Van Heerde's are keeping Martell in hopeful joyful prayer as he embarks on this next portion of his healing journey. ️🩹
_Jason Johnna Ava & Clark Van Heerde
Love you all Blands‼️
We are Martell's Prayer Warriors
The Carrasquillo's (Alexia,daughter; Wanda, mom; Raul, dad)
Vuoso prayer team for Martell!
Todd & Julia Schmaltz are praying for you guys!
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The Martell and Katina Bland Patient Education Program
is a vital part of ICAN's Cancer Patient Advocacy and Clinical Trials Program Advocacy Services.
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Federal Tax I.D.: EIN 86-0818253