The inspiring true story of how one woman--who People dubbed "the saint of Staten Island"--is changing the world, one child at a time.
Fourteen years ago, Elissa Montanti was a lab technician in Staten Island. She had, in the span of only a few years, lost her beloved mother, grandmother, and high school sweetheart. Hoping to find a way past her own troubles and the depression and panic attacks that quietly crippled her, she decided to raise money for school supplies for the children of war-torn Bosnia. But at a meeting with the UN ambassador she learned that those children didn't need pencils. He showed her a photo of a boy who had lost both arms and one leg to a land mine; these children needed a lot more.
Elissa went to Bosnia, brought the boy and his mother back to Staten Island, and arranged for free prosthetics and medical care. The Global Medical Relief Fund was born.
Working from the walk-in closet in her home, Elissa has since brought more than 150 children injured in war zones--Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere--to the United States, where, with the help of the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Philadelphia and a network of doctors, nurses, and community leaders, they receive free housing and ongoing care.
In I'll Stand by You , Elissa tells the stories of these children and the soldiers, doctors, and ordinary Americans who have come to their aid; the resistance she has faced for helping non-Americans; and the heartwarming tale of how in helping these children, she healed herself.