Identity Theft

Rediscovering Ourselves After Stroke

Identity Theft is an award-winning book that follows Stanford professor Debra Meyerson’s journey to recover from a severe stroke that initially left her physically incapacitated and unable to speak. In addition to providing realistic expectations for the hard work needed to regain everyday capabilities, Meyerson focuses on the less frequently documented emotional journey in recovery. Virtually every survivor is haunted by questions like: “Who am I now?” and “How do I rebuild a meaningful and rewarding life?” after losing so much of what they had before—capabilities, careers and jobs, relationships, and more. This is a book full of hope for survivors—from stroke or other injuries—as well as their families and support networks.

Debra Meyerson and her husband, Steve Zuckerman, have created Stroke Onward (www.strokeonward.org), a non-profit initiative of the Social Good Fund, to provide stroke survivors, families and caregivers with more resources to help them navigate the emotional journey to rebuild their identities and rewarding lives.”
 


 

Winner of the 2019 Silver Nautilus Book Award, Identity Theft centers on Debra’s experience: her stroke, her extraordinary efforts to recover, and her journey to redefine herself. But she also draws on her skills as a social scientist, sharing stories from several dozen fellow survivors, family members, friends, colleagues, therapists, and doctors she has met and interviewed. By sharing this diversity of experiences, Debra highlights how every person is different, every stroke is different, and every recovery is different. She provides a valuable look at the broad possibilities for successfully navigating the challenging physical recovery—and the equally difficult emotional journey toward rebuilding one’s identity and a rewarding life after a trauma like stroke.
 

About the Author

Previously a tenured professor at Stanford University, DEBRA MEYERSON studied, wrote, lectured, and taught about diversity, gender, identity, and organizational change. In September 2010, Debra’s life and career were derailed by a severe stroke that nearly killed her and initially left her paralyzed on the right side—and completely mute. Years of intensive therapy and a relentless work ethic enabled Debra to regain her independence, but she still lives with physical limitations and speech challenges. Debra wrote Identity Theft to help other survivors and those closest to them navigate the emotional journey that she has found very difficult—and rewarding. Debra lives in Menlo Park, California, with her husband, and has three grown children.
 
DANNY ZUCKERMAN is the cofounder of 3Box, a peer-to-peer social network that helps people create more meaningful connections and communities online. He previously worked on a new digital identity system based on blockchain technology, helped build digital math curriculum at Zearn, worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company, and studied political philosophy and economics at Stanford University. Danny is Debra Meyerson’s son.
 

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