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I'LL STAND BY YOU by Elissa Montanti

I'LL STAND BY YOU

One Woman's Mission to Heal the Children of the World

By Elissa Montanti (Author) , Jennifer Haupt (Author)

Pub Date: Aug. 2nd, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-525-95295-4
Publisher: Dutton

An uplifting story of one woman's compassionate aid to wounded children.

Almost 15 years ago, part-time singer-songwriter Montanti was battling severe depression and panic attacks brought on by the deaths of her mother, grandmother and first love. Unable to write or perform her music, she was forced out of this "very dark hole" by a friend who asked her to help with a fundraiser for war-torn Bosnia. Seeing pictures of children who had lost limbs during the war triggered an emotional response, allowing Montanti "to hear a faint melody.” From there, she embarked on her own crusade to aid these wounded children. She quit her full-time job and started the Global Medical Relief Fund, a nonprofit organization run from Montanti's walk-in closet that would bring wounded children to the United States to receive free prosthetics. Aided primarily by the Shriners, Montanti opened her home, life and heart to these children, giving hope to the victims and their families. Despite the difficulties in obtaining documentation needed by Homeland Security and reams of red tape to access exit visas from foreign countries, Montanti has successfully helped more than 150 children from around the world. Bosnians, Haitians, Afghanis and Iraqis have all shared her home, with music and laughter serving as the universal languages. When asked why she has done so much for these children, the author replies, "how could I not?”—she believes "there are actions we can all take in our daily lives to help others in need and create a global family."

A moving testament to the will and single-mindedness of one woman determined to help those in need.