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A Life Worth Dying For cover

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  • Black & White
  • 208 pages
  • 5.5 x 8.5 inches
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  • Black & White
  • 208 pages
  • 5.5 x 8.5 inches

abuse, bullying, addictions, violence, gangs, criminality, recovery

A Life Worth Dying For
The Jim Mandelin Story by Jim Mandelin with Don Rock and Alison Diesvelt

A Life Worth Dying For: The Jim Mandelin Story, by Jim Mandelin with Don Rock and Alison Diesvelt, is the true story of a man, who endured a childhood strewn with daily incidents of sexual, physical and emotional abuse at home, and constant bullying at school; who survived years as a youth on the streets succumbing to the predations of pedophiles and to addiction; who did multiple stints in prison and was eventually recruited by a biker gang in prison for work as a ‘debt collector on the outside’; who eventually became a physical wreck because of addiction, facing cardiac arrest at twenty-two and a near-death experience that changed his life forever. A Life Worth Dying For is woven with fleeting moments of kindness by relative strangers, which ultimately fused Jim with the will to live. This is a story written to raise awareness of the effects of childhood abuse and neglect, bullying and discrimination and how these circumstances so often create conditioning for criminality and gang membership. It is a real-life testament intended to deepen your understanding of what it is to be human, and of the power of kindness to affect critical change in our world.

Jim’s story is a poignant journey of trauma and healing - an important reminder that risking vulnerability and living with profound empathy for self and others is the foundation of resilience and humanity. Lisa Robinson Kitt, Ph.D, Criminology Department, Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Jim Mandelin with Don Rock and Alison Diesvelt photo

JIM MANDELIN, C.P.C., is a community speaker and presenter, with a background in counseling and youth support . Jim began his community service work visiting inmates in prisons as an inspirational speaker during the 80’s and has gone on to address thousands of youth and community members annually. Jim has worked in consultation with the Vancouver Police Department, prisons, Vancouver Lower Mainland School Districts, Universities and Colleges and a wide range of community organizations including the United Way. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Association for Restorative Justice. Jim currently resides in Vancouver with his present wife of fifteen years and their family. More information about his work can be obtained by visiting his website at


Jim Mandelin with Don Rock and Alison Diesvelt
Alison Diesvelt

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