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When Lisa's son was 10 years old, he looked her in the eye and told her he didn't want to live.
She had other plans.


Lisa's youngest son, Justin, was sick, suffering, and broken and she and her husband had no idea how to heal, help, or fix him.


His third suicide attempt by the time he was eleven years old was their final wake-up call. Although he survived, their family was left without a roadmap. They’d start down a path, hit a wall, turn around, and begin again.


Thankfully, with help, they found their way. Not only did they get through extraordinarily difficult times with a suicidal son, but he went on to start a nationwide nonprofit organization and become a motivational speaker who led more that 150 full-school assemblies for students in grades five through twelve in sixteen states—all before he turned eighteen.

This book is dedicated to all the kids and adults who feel alone because no one understands what they’re facing. It is for all the parents worried about their children, the siblings who feel lost, the teachers who don’t know how to handle a student, the medical professionals who are uncertain how to respond to a patient. It is for friends who are fearful or unsure what to do, and for anyone who simply feels “other.”


This is the book they wish they had.



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The Book We Wish We Had:

This memoir is a real and moving account of a family journey through medical and mental health challenges. 


What readers are saying!

"This book is an incredible story about the most important job we are bestowed in our lifetime; having relentless perseverance to protect, love, and raise our children to realize their fullest potential. I really do wish I had this book when my kids were young."

-- John R. DiJulius III Author of The Relationship Economy

“Lisa’s book has the PERFECT title. If you are a parent navigating a terrifying and medically frustrating experience, wouldn’t it be invaluable to have a resource steeped in moving stories and sage advice that helps you feel less alone? Not only does she bring the reader into their personal experiences through raw detail, I dare you not to get goosebumps from her storytelling.” 

-- Kelly Lafferman, CMO & Principal Findsome & Winmore and Registered Mental Health Counselor


"Lisa's brave and unfiltered story shows us how mental health is a journey for families, school systems and communities alike so we can create more loving and inclusive environments that allow all children to thrive. "

-- Shannon Green, former Orlando Sentinel columnist and Editorial Board member and Mom to a neurodivergent child.

“Forever thanks to you and Justin for this book. I've just completed my first reading and know I will return to it for more” 

- Robin, Cleveland, Ohio

Check us out on instagram @lisatheparentadvocate

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