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Libo Meyers
Limp Forward
Libo Meyers, author
From being a little girl with polio in rural China to a tech executive at Apple, Libo Cao Meyers (曹力波) has had quite a journey in life—a journey steeped in a rich family legacy and powered by determination, growth, and love. Over the years and the miles, she has allowed no one—including herself—to set limitations on what she’s able to accomplish. Along the way, Libo has overcome challenges as a person with a disability, a first-generation immigrant in a new country, a female executive in the male-dominated world of technology, an athlete, and a mother with mix-culture heritage. In Limp Forward, Libo boldly shares her story—both the hard and the beautiful—so that you may feel seen, be reminded of your inherent value, and find the strength you need to face your own challenges in life. With remarkable candor and a sense of humor, Libo shows us what is possible when we pursue our full potential.
Meyers debuts with a riveting memoir chronicling her life story from an early childhood diagnosis of polio through her unyielding determination to attend and graduate from college and build for herself a successful career as an engineering executive at Apple. Sharing details about her family history and legacy, key friendships, and the experience of becoming a wife and a mother, Meyers shares her story with vivid transparency and raw honesty that is endearing and inspiring. Meyers's parents received the terrifying telegram that their 11-month-old daughter had polio, which Meyers describes with precision, from diagnosis to treatment to life-long impact: “My right leg is around two inches shorter than the left and doesn’t have much muscle development,” she writes. “It looks more like a stick than a leg."

Though her disability has led to setbacks and obstacles, including unfair treatment from peers and adults, Meyers persevered, as the title playfully suggests. She continually sets goals for herself and maps out the best course to achieve them. Despite her early goal to be accepted and graduate from college, difficulties in her native home of China, where most colleges have unyielding physical education requirements, prompted Meyers to eventually apply to schools in the United States, where she was accepted at Ohio University with a full scholarship and completed her PhD. From her first position as a software scientist in Silicon Valley to an executive role at Apple, Meyers’s determination fueled her ambitions, and her hard work led to successful achievements. "I heard from people what I couldn’t do, I limped forward and did all those things anyway, and I am not done yet," Meyers notes.

From competing in a 100-mile bike ride to challenging herself in karate classes, Meyers reflects on the ways her weaknesses became her strengths, delivering an inspirational narrative of a young woman constantly pushing herself, pursuing her dreams, and always believing in herself no matter what others had to say. The result is inspiring.

Takeaway: An inspirational memoir that highlights living with a disability and persevering.

Comparable Titles: Rebekah Taussig’s Sitting Pretty, Alice Wong’s Disability Visibility.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Forbes Report on "Limp Forward" Author Libo Meyers

Libo Cao Meyers was an 11-month-old girl living in China when she was diagnosed with polio. She immigrated to the United States at 24, where she eventually married and gave birth to two sons. Nowadays, Meyers works in Silicon Valley, where she works at Apple as a high-ranking engineering executive. What’s more, Meyers is the author of an upcoming book, a memoir titled Limp Forward: A Memoir of Disability, Perseverance, and Success. The name of the book is an homage to Meyers’ lifelong limp. According to her website, pre-orders for the work begin Tuesday, May 23.

Despite her successes, attaining them hasn’t been an easy for Meyers.

“Of course, you can imagine any kid was a disability, you have to grow up in a relatively harsher environment. It doesn’t matter which country you are in,” Meyers said recently about being disabled in an exclusive interview. “By the time I got to college, I was told by one of the deans of my school that I wasn’t really going to get into any college regardless of my [SAT] score. At that time, I wanted to study computer science; however, computer science is a very hot major, and unfortunately, at that time, I couldn’t pass my [physical education] test, I remember I got all A’s in all [the academic subjects]. However, I couldn’t run fast enough, or even run at all. That was the time that I realized that there is a certain expectation in society on people with disabilities.”

Meyers eventually would find herself at Apple when, in 2011, she jumped out of bed and excitedly told her husband “Steve Jobs touched my soul!” after reading Walter Isaacson’s biography on him. “I just applied and then within a couple of weeks, I made to Apple,” Meyers said of joining the company over a decade ago. “I’ve been there ever since.”

Asked about her book’s origin story, Meyers said Limp Forward came to be at the height of the pandemic. There was a dramatic rise in anti-Asian rhetoric during this period, and Meyers felt a strong motivation to share her life’s roots. “I realized that I have a responsibility to do something about it,” she said. “However, I wasn’t sure what exactly I was trying to achieve at first, so I decided to just write down my life as an Asian immigrant to this country, at least to pass down my stories to my sons.”

She continued: “However, as I sat down to write each Sunday, something shifted within me. To piece my life together, I asked my parents to share their own life stories and soon found myself with a wealth of material for a family history book as well as my own stories. As I delved deeper into the project, I began to feel a sense of responsibility to share this work with the world. I felt that my story, and those of my family, could help to bridge gaps between communities and inspire those in need.”