Book Reviews

“The story of Dr. Christensen’s care for homeless teenagers is heartbreaking, but it highlights the everyday tragedies and suffering happening in the shadows of our great country’s accomplishments. Dr. Christensen’s recounting of his work and the stories of his patients reminds us again and again that these are our children and that we must do better by them. This is a must-read for policymakers and anyone who cares about children’s health.”
— Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone

“Dr. Randy Christensen has provided us with a book that is proof positive that there are still heroes among us. These doctors, nurses and social workers labor tirelessly to look after some of our most vulnerable patients – homeless children. In this sensitive and moving portrayal of caring for those most in need, Christensen shows us that it is still possible to make a difference in the world, one patient at a time.”
— Lisa Sanders, M.D., author of the New York Times bestseller Every Patient Tells A Story, and New York Times Magazine “Diagnosis” Columnist

“This is a remarkable story of what it’s like to be on the front lines of medical care for extremely disadvantaged kids.  Dr. Christensen brings to life the realities of America’s forgotten and bypassed street youth who struggle to survive.  At the same time, this story is a powerful glimpse into the extraordinary work of doctors and nurses who have devoted their careers to caring for people who have no where else to turn.”
— Dr. Irwin Redlener, President and Co-Founder of the Children’s Health Fund

“Dr. Randy cares more about distressed kids than anyone I have met in 44 years of worldwide reporting.  His moving stories of treating runaways are both comical and heartbreaking.  He is a remarkable Doc!!!”
— Fred Francis, Senior Correspondent NBC News

“[An] inspiring account of a doctor who truly puts his patients’ needs first… With just the right blend of personal history, patient anecdotes, and relevent suggestions for health care improvement, Christensen’s memoir is an uplifting yet sobering read.”
— Publishers Weekly

3 thoughts on “Book Reviews

  • I pulled your book off the library shelf yesterday while looking for books on human trafficking. Unbelievable!! 100 pages into it I bookmarked your website and will finish it tonight! My kids and I have been one foot out the door to homelessness for about 4 years. Once married and had all we could want, my children and I are now on AHCCS and food stamps. I live amongst the kids you are describing but not out of the house yet. My heart breaks for the children that my kids bring home for me to meet. I’ve called CPS a number of times and as I hear through the grapevine about the children put into foster care I wonder, what’s worse the system or their families. Two little boys were abandoned by their mom for 3 months while she went to school in Tucson. The day after she left they were given an eviction notice. When the boys left to walk to school the neighbors came pilfering through their apartment. I spoke with the school and CPS and they were gone that day. I heard that one of the boys was made to were girls underwear at the home he was placed in. Another apartment across the way had 4 children living in it with a blow up bed in the living room. Their mom lived with her boyfriend and left a 4, 6, 8 and 12 year old on their own. She brought groceries by sometimes. I had my kids take clothes to them and I talked to the oldest boy from time to time. He broke down and cried one day and my heart heart broke too. I called CPS. Their mom moved back in for a while until CPS came for their last visit. She moved back out. I caught up with her one day and voiced my concerns. They moved the next month.

    I try to help by having the kids over for meals or a safe place to come and talk. I bag up my kids toys and clothes or food from time to time for my neighbors. Halloween is around the corner and I gave the neighbors my kids costumes months ago. I got 3 lashes at the stake for that one. My kids always ask why, and I say because we have so much more. I’m so proud to say they feel the same. I’ve tried to teach my kids that the joy is in the giving. They probably never would have experienced poverty, hunger and fear if we hadn’t been thrown into this world. This life has been a gift for us in an odd sort of way.

    I’m starting school at The Arizona Culinary Institute next month. I love to cook. Can I help by coming down and using your kids as my royal tasters on new recipes? I’m sure they could all use a healthy meal from time to time.

    I am so thankful to have run across your book. It has opened my eyes to homeless children in Phoenix. Bless you all.

    Hillari, Nick and Meg OBrien

    • Thanks so much for your kind words and more importantly for caring about those kids. We all love our jobs and we rely on our community to help us care for them. UMOM is the shelter where we house our clinic and I know they have lots of opportunities for volunteering. We also have many other sites that I am sure would love food donations. You can contact me through email from this site or call us at 602-651-1862. Thanks again for all that you do.


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