This book is dedicated to our mothers
Jane Rogers Ellis
11/10/1942 – 2/18/1984
Maria Carmen Christensen
6/6/1944 – 12/16/2009
– Randy & Amy Christensen
Now writing these final words, I feel a sense of accomplishment. But any achievements or goals that have been reached are directly related to the support, advice and guidance from my family, friends and mentors. I want to take the opportunity to graciously thank them for helping me along this journey. To my childhood friends, Danny Center, Kim Briamonte and Greg Davis: you started me out on the path to success. To my high school friends Tim Sellers, Rob Walsh, Jeff Thomasson you made the high school job meaningful and fun. My college friends and fraternity brothers, Glen Mandigo, Jay Ferguson, Mark McLear, John Muehrcke, Joel Rapp gave me memories to last a lifetime. In addition I want to give a special thanks to Marshall Brennan who often listened to my ramblings as I tried to piece together the stories and to Ron Couturier who is the godfather to my children and that should say enough.
To my medical school classmates, Melissa Smith, Holly Gallivan, Kimberly Barrie, you made that chaotic time enjoyable. For my colleagues and peers, Donna Holland, Sarah Beaumont, Michelle Huddleston, Jeffrey Weiss you all set the bar so high for yourselves that I become a better doctor just being around you. To Darlene Newsome at UMOM, thanks for helping out the program when we had no place to go. To my mentors, Dr Jack Copeland and Dr Irwin Redlener, you both are my heroes and I hope you know how much better the world is just because you cared. The leaders at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Bob Meyer, CEO and Steve Schnall, Senior VP showed me what it meant to truly believe in caring for the community.
To Nathaniel Jacks and Richard Pine, my agents at Inkwell Mangement, thanks for believing in the power of these stories. You have never waved in your commitment to telling the world about homeless children. This story could not have happened without Jenna Ciongoli, my editor at Broadway Books, whose suggestions and comments took the story to the next level.
To Rene Denfeld, you were able to able to take my jumbled thoughts and put them to paper with such visual intensity that every time I read the story I am living it.
And for my team on the Crews’n Healthmobile, you are the reason for the success of this program. I applaud your dedication and commitment. Each and every one of you has been an asset to our program, and it could not have happened without you, Jan Putnam, Michelle Ray, Wendy Speck, Cody Conklin, Julie Watson, Kim Williams, Reece Tovar, Nora Thibeault, and Dorothy Lawson.
Lastly I thank my wonderful family that supported me and picked me up when I thought I couldn’t get up any more. Mom I love you. Dad I am so proud to be your son. Stephanie, Curtis, Matthew and Trevor you all mean so much to me. Amy you are everything I need and all that I want. You make me a better person every day I am with you. Janie, Reed and Charlotte: one day you will grow up and read this book. I hope it helps you understand how much I love you, and why it hurts so much to be away from you.