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Identity Theft, Second Edition

Rediscovering Ourselves After Stroke

Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

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About The Book

Identity Theft, Second Edition 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 and Zuckerman focus on the less frequently documented emotional journey as she and her family rebuild identity in recovery.


Virtually every stroke 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 life-changing injuries or illnesses—as well as their care partners, families, and communities.

The first edition of 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 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 and frequently unspoken emotional journey toward rebuilding one’s identity and a rewarding life after a trauma like stroke.

This second edition is written by Debra and her husband, Steve Zuckerman. As they have shared in countless talks, “Just as the original book was headed to the printers, we decided that ‘the finish line had become a new starting line.’” They co-founded the nonprofit Stroke Onward, where they have been working side by side to build an organization that can catalyze change in the healthcare system to better integrate the emotional journey of rebuilding identity into a lifelong recovery process. This edition draws on five more years of experience as a post-stroke couple and what they’ve learned from thousands more survivors, family members, and healthcare professionals. They’ve added new insights about the long-term recovery process and how we can change the stroke system of care to better support all survivors and their families.

Their 4,500-mile bike ride called Stroke Across America in 2021 helped raise awareness for Stroke Onward and stroke suvivorship care.

About The Authors

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.
 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (April 29, 2025)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781524895570

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