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Brent Meersman’s memoir of a humble yet eccentric upbringing in a Milnerton, Cape Town, flat in the 1970’s and 1980’s reads as a stirring eulogy to his schizophrenic mother, yet also as a vivid snapshot in time.
His adoring mother, a horse-loving artist, received only rudimentary treatment and Brent, his brother and father had to look to each other for support. His father battled alcoholism and unemployment, at one point taking the whole family to Belgium, where he had found work, only for them to return a year later, defeated. Traversing a home environment constantly on high alert for something to go wrong, waiting for his mother’s fragile mental stability to shatter, not finding support in his father, whose drinking and absences from home took a punishing toll on the family, bred in the author an almost heroic resilience.
This delicate yet brutal memoir, filled with wry humour, will resonate with many readers.
Joey Evans has always loved bikes, from his first second-hand Raleigh Strika at the age of six to the powerful off-road machines that became his passion later on in his life. His dream was one day to ride the most gruelling off-road race in the world, the 9000km Dakar Rally. In 2007 his dream was shattered when he broke his back in a racing accident. His spinal cord was crushed, leaving him paralysed from just below his chest. Doctors gave him a 10 per cent chance of ever walking again. Many would have given up and become resigned to life in a wheelchair, but not Joey Evans.
Not only would he get back on his feet and walk, but he would also keep his Dakar dream alive. It was a long and painful road to recovery, involving years of intensive rehabilitation and training, but he had the love and support of both family and friends and an incredible amount of determination. Joey shares the many challenges he and his family faced, relating the setbacks, as well as successes, along the way to the Dakar start line. But the start line was only the first goal – his sights were set on reaching the finish line, which he did in 2017 – the only South African to do so.
From Para To Dakar is so much more than the story of one man reaching the Dakar finish line. It is a story of friendship and respect, compassion and kindness. It is about defying the odds to reach a dream, it is about grit, endurance and raw courage, and it is inspiring in its true heroism.
"Why walk when you can soar..."
These are the opening words on Tracy Todd’s website and they are a powerful affirmation of the person Tracy is today – a sought-after inspirational speaker whose uplifting presentations have inspired and given hope to many people. But it is difficult to imagine what she has overcome in a tough and often lonely journey.
At the age of twenty-eight her life was turned upside down when a horrific road accident left her a quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down. Her life as an athletic, marathon-running young mother and teacher was abruptly shattered. Despite months of rehabilitation, Tracy often found herself wondering if her life was worth living. Everything she had taken for granted was now beyond her reach and frustration at her helplessness threatened to overwhelm her. Against the odds, Tracy chose to live.
Her strength of character and determination prevailed and, sustained by the support of her son, family and friends, her care assistants, and an unbelievably caring community, she set about gaining the independence to rebuild her life and reclaim her identity – which she has done, with dignity and grace. Brave Lotus Flower Rides The Dragon is an honest, inspiring and engaging memoir in which Tracy’s natural warmth and humour are tangible and, most importantly, she embodies what the human spirit can achieve.
In 2011 the world was shocked when the news broke that Joost van der Westhuizen, known for years as the golden boy of South African rugby and a former Springbok captain, had been diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND).
This rare condition attacks the central nervous system, causing progressive disability. There is no known cure. All who have seen Joost in action will know that he is not one to give up without a fight. His game-changing prowess as a brilliant scrum half is now focused on a battle for survival and, more importantly, on making a difference to the lives of others with the disease. In a race against time, Joost has a dream to fulfil. He says: “In the beginning you go through all the emotions and you ask, ‘Why me?’ It’s quite simple. ‘Why not me?’ If I have to go through this to help future generations, why not me?” His acceptance of his symptoms is equally pragmatic: “One day you can’t move your arm, another day you don’t have speech. Every day you are reborn and you take the day as it comes.”
Glory Game – The Joost van der Westhuizen Story is a compelling narrative of redemption set against the backdrop of an illustrious career in rugby. It is the story of a modern-day warrior forced to face his own human frailty. Joost shows us that beyond ambition, success and fame lies the true wealth of family and friends, and that within a ravaged body the spirit can remain invincible.
This brand new book addresses disability issues, including inclusive education, advocacy and empowerment. Aimed specifically at students studying in South Africa, this book attempts to plug the gap between policy, services and rights for disabled people in South Africa, whilst also helping readers to find a new world view. This book is suitable for both first year undergraduates in inclusive education and senior students and also academics looking to advance theory and lay good foundations for comprehensive, evidence-based practice.
Hykie vertel in rou eerlikheid van sy stryd met ADHD. Van 'n weerlose seuntjie wat nie kon stilsit nie tot 'n jong man wat in Weskoppies opgeneem word en alles verloor. Hykie ondersoek die hele fenomeen van ADHD – hoeveel diagnoses daar gemaak word, hoe die medikasie ontstaan het, die samestelling en die newe-effekte daarvan. Hykie wys dat medikasie nie die enigste antwoord is nie. Hykie gee ook waardevolle raad aan Christene oor hoe om mense wat aan geestessiektes lei te ondersteun.
Diabled women challenge rigid, limiting views of what it means to be a disabled woman, and of what a parent is and does. They describe having to fight for the right to become pregnant; the poignant pleasure of teaching children the benefits of having a 'different' mother; and the sheer delight of involving themselves in a child's life.
One of the most remarkable memoirs ever written. One of the ten books - novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography - that make up our Matchbook Classics' series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist. In December 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of French Elle and the father of two young children, suffered a massive stroke and found himself paralysed and speechless. But his mind remained as active and alert as it had ever been. Using his only functioning muscle - his left eyelid - he was determined to tell his remarkable story, painstakingly spelling it out letter by letter. The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly records Bauby's lonely existence but also the ability to invent a life for oneself in the most appalling of circumstances. It one of the most extraordinary books about the triumph of the human spirit ever written.
After suffering a massive stroke, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of French Elle and the father of two young children, found himself completely paralysed, speechless and only able to move one eyelid. With this eyelid he 'dictated' this remarkable book.
"A staggering piece of work. It represents an almost inconceivable act of generosity, the gift of the mind and spirit for which writing was designed."
"This is a memoir where the man speaks for the moment, and it is one of the great books of the century."
"Read this book and fall back in love with life."
Amit Patel is working as a trauma doctor when a rare condition causes him to lose his sight within thirty-six hours. Totally dependent on others and terrified of stepping outside with a white cane after he's assaulted, he hits rock bottom. He refuses to leave home on his own for three months. With the support of his wife Seema he slowly adapts to his new situation, but how could life ever be the way it was? Then his guide dog Kika comes along . . .
But Kika’s stubbornness almost puts her guide dog training in jeopardy – could her quirky personality be a perfect match for someone? Meanwhile Amit has reservations – can he trust a dog with his safety? Paired together in 2015, they start on a journey, learning to trust each other before taking to the streets of London and beyond. The partnership not only gives Amit a renewed lease of life but a new best friend. Then, after a video of an irate commuter rudely asking Amit to step aside on an escalator goes viral, he sets out with Kika by his side to spread a message of positivity and inclusivity, showing that nothing will hold them back.
From the challenges of travelling when blind to becoming a parent for the first time, Kika & Me is the moving, heart-warming and inspirational story of Amit’s sight-loss journey and how one guide dog changed his world.
This debut autobiographical novel by a compassionate and deeply perceptive writer is raw, funny and moving. It is the story of Colleen, the little girl who has to wear boots to support her weak ankles, seen through her eyes and told in her own words. She is the third-born child of parents who share a chaotic and co-dependent relationship. Accompanied by her siblings, this is the child’s journey, set against the background of Cape Town with all its mystery and beauty. The period is the 1940s, a time of innocence, social graces, the Queen’s visit, and sports heroes like Vic Toweel and Bobby Locke. It is a time of religious fervour, baptisms, conversions and Sunday School picnics. Apartheid is seen through the eyes of innocent children, bemused and confused by the flawed and unjust system. The pages are crowded by a host of odd characters, lovable, eccentric, alcoholic and troubled. There’s Aunty Bubble who teaches the children to jitterbug and Uncle Nicholas who speaks the Queen’s English and plays a trumpet in the Royal Navy band. There is Smuts the Xhosa watchman who befriends the children and shares his brazier with them at night, and Edna the maid who tries to keep them neat and clean and fills their stomachs with angels’ food. There’s Aunty Beryl who carries a Chihuahua around in her handbag, and the midwife, and the home-undertaker named Two-Coffee-One-Milk. The book has universal appeal. There is a human thread recognisable to anyone who has ever been in a co-dependent relationship, or been abused, or grown up poor, or had an alcoholic father ... The text is rich in imagery and vivid detail. Sharp, insightful, nostalgic and magical, both harrowing and joyful, rich in unintentional humour, it will resonate with many. It has the charm of Angela’s Ashes. You will laugh with this child, you will cry with her and you will take every breath with her. It is the author’s hope that her story might help others dilute the poison of their pain. The sequel will be available in the near future.
In January 1988, aged twelve, Martin Pistorius fell inexplicably sick. Within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair-bound, being cared for at centres for severely disabled children. What no-one knew is that while Martin's body remained unresponsive, his mind slowly woke up, yet he could tell no-one, a prisoner inside his own body. During this time, he suffered abuse of a kind that is barely imaginable, yet still he kept the spirit of hope alive. It wasn't until he was twenty-three that a gentle therapist realised he was alert to everything and, along with his parents, assisted his road to recovery. Since then, against all odds, he has fallen in love, married, and now runs a thriving web design business. Martin's extraordinary story is a deeply moving account of the power of love.
In this collection of beautiful and raw essays, Amy S. F. Lutz writes openly about her experience-the positive and the negative-as a mother of a now twenty-one-year-old son with severe autism. Lutz's human emotion drives through each page and challenges commonly held ideas that define autism either as a disease or as neurodiversity. We Walk is inspired by her own questions: What is the place of intellectually and developmentally disabled people in society? What responsibilities do we, as citizens and human beings, have to one another? Who should decide for those who cannot decide for themselves? What is the meaning of religion to someone with no abstract language? Exploring these questions, We Walk directly-and humanly-examines social issues such as inclusion, religion, therapeutics, and friendship through the lens of severe autism. In a world where public perception of autism is largely shaped by the "quirky geniuses" featured on television shows like The Big Bang Theory and The Good Doctor, We Walk demands that we center our debates about this disorder on those who are most affected by its impacts.
Her business burnt to the ground, her home flooded, family bankruptcy a harsh reality, and yet, these events paled into insignificance for what was to come. Mala was diagnosed with four complex and debilitating, incurable diseases. She became riddled with inflammation and excruciating symptoms. The medical prognosis – no hope and wheelchair bound for the rest of her life. Her relationships and life were falling apart.
But, Mala defied the limited beliefs of medical science and today is walking, dancing, driving and thriving again. How? She used her adverse situation to conduct intensive research resulting in a unique Take-Charge Wellness formula that works! This non-fiction, self-help book is a success story that is both gripping and empowering for those caught up in the stress of everyday life or battling a chronic illness.
This, is Mala’s story, scientifically researched and referenced.
Addressing frequently encountered emotional, behavioral, and academic difficulties, this essential guide shows how to help parents implement proven skills-building strategies with their kids (ages 5-17). The author draws on over 25 years of research and clinical practice to provide a flexible program for individual families or parent groups. The focus is on teaching kids the skills they need to get their development back on track and teaching parents to cope with and manage challenging behavior. Featuring vignettes and troubleshooting tips, the Practitioner Guide is packed with ideas for engaging clients and tailoring the interventions. In a large-size format for easy photocopying, it contains more than 60 reproducible handouts and forms. See also Skills Training for Struggling Kids, an invaluable client recommendation, which guides parents to implement Dr. Bloomquist's strategies and includes all of the handouts and forms they need.
Sarah Merriman is just like any other urbane young woman in her twenties... She has a job in a Central London hotel, a boyfriend, commutes to work on the Tube, eats out, goes to films and theatre... This is all the more remarkable (though not to her) because Sarah was born with Down's Syndrome. Her parents having no prior inkling, it came as a huge shock to them that they now had a daughter with a disability. In 1999 her father Andy wrote a frank and moving book, A Minor Adjustment, about the challenge of her early years. The national publicity it gained saw it become a treasured resource for other families on a similar journey. Now he follows up with the inspirational story of how his daughter, whose favourite expression is `I love my life', has grown up, featured on Michel Roux's compelling Kitchen Impossible series, and is making a life of her own at a time when pre-natal testing is threatening the very existence of people with Down's syndrome. Sarah has contributed throughout.
The 'D' Word starts with the premise that Dementia is here to stay - a simple cure is not going to be found that will make it a condition of the past. As such it is a social problem, not a medical one. We have to learn to live with Dementia and, as it will affect nearly all of us either as carers or through eventually having the condition, become our own experts rather than relying on the inadequate response from medicine. The authors, based on their long experience of working together to support people affected by dementia, show us how to understand the biological reality of dementia (the brain is wasting away and no amount of memory medicine can restore what is gone); readjust our thinking about the condition so that we can accept rather than fear it; and gain the expertise to manage the problems we have now.
Alice Whittaker was never able to celebrate her 6th Birthday. Sister to two older brothers, daughter of devoted parents; Alice's family, in one sense, was ordinary, their story together is totally extraordinary. Dying of a condition that was never fully understood, or diagnosed, Alice's fleeting life and early death in 2012 is a story that needed to be told. 'She's just... Alice' chronicles a family battling together to make sense of illness, love, life and eventually death. Yet in the midst of real sadness, Alice's story is one of hope. Read this true account of one family fighting together, keeping their trust in God, through the most bitter of times.
Entertainers Roy and Dale Evans Rogers were thrilled when their
little daughter Robin was born. But their excitement turned to
concern when they were informed that Robin was born with Down's
Syndrome and advised to "put her away." The Rogers ignored such
talk and instead kept Robin, and she graced their home for two and
a half years. Though Robin's time on earth was short, she changed
her parents' lives and even made life better for other children
born with special needs in the years to come.
This insightful book takes a thorough look at the link between AD/HD and addiction and offers tips on how to combat its devastating effects. Discover how the latest research underscores the importance of treating both the AD/HD and the addiction in order to ensure a full recovery.
Offers parents of children with disabilities inspiration and advice from those whove been there
Reflections from a Different Journey presents 40 stories by successful adults who grew up with disabilities. They provide insights into what it is like to persevere in the face of community prejudices, and what it takes for families and children with disabilities to work together toward fulfillment.
While there are many books for parents on raising a child with a disability, this is the first to help them learn from people with disabilities, and to help children face the unique challenges and rewards of growing up with a disability. Reflections from a Different Journey will also encourage and inspire older children and adults with disabilities, other family members, and education and health care professionals who serve these families.
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