I CAN. I WILL.: My Story of Overcoming Abuse, Disability and Racism Paperback – 1 Jul 2018
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‘It is an inspiration to see the determination that Mark has shown in overcoming the hurdles in his life. His bravery in the face of adversity, not just once, but a number of times, is incredible, and his book is a must-read for all.’
LORD-LIEUTENANT OF LEICESTERSHIRE
‘Mark - his story, his contribution, his business acumen and his hugely positive personality - is an inspiration to us all, about how to take on life’s challenges, overcome and make a difference.’
CHAIRMAN, LEICESTER RIDERS
About the Author
Disabled with polio from the neck down aged 5, Mark Esho was told he would never walk again. Although he partially recovered, he had to battle against an abusive father and discrimination as a black and disabled person. But not only did he survive, Mark thrived!
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Sympathy because his early childhood seemed idyllic until polio robbed the author of mobility and his adopted family. Admiration because he has been shaped by his travails into an award-winning Black British entrepreneur.
It could have been so different. No-one could have been surprised if the sheer bad luck of it, followed by years of abuse by his father, overt and ‘unconscious’ racism, and treachery by employees had turned the author into a bitter recluse.
Instead, we find a man who honestly admits to having problems.
The love of and for his wife and his children and his commitment to help others makes this book a testament to a bright future achieved by decency, determination and planning.
I’m looking forward a decade or so when I know the second volume will move and inspire me some more.
As a small boy there had been a brief time of happiness with a hugely loving white family who took Mark on as a small boy because his parents could not cope. He might have had a happy childhood in spite of being crippled with polio when very small,
If his father had not whisked him off to Nigeria and used tough parenting - screaming at the small boy, beating him and
sending him to boarding school where being disabled was wretched to replace the gentleness and security he had known before.
When he returned to England racism was rife and undisguised and Esho had me vibrating with fury at some of the treatment he has endured and still does, too often, simply because of his skin colour. While there has also been discrimination because he is disabled.
But if you imagine Esho has written a misery memoir you are very wrong. His story, written with passion and intelligence, is interlaced with the personal philosophy and wisdom he has developed as a result of determinedly battling with life and discovering he can be loved as he clearly is by his wife Diana and two children.
No less important he has created an award winning business, set up a number of enterprises , overcome tough times and become a respected voice on behalf of the disabled. And has written this wonderful book.
The personable way in which the book is written struck a nerve and I found I could relate to some of the feelings and behaviours he so accurately describes as a result. Everyone, at some point in their lives has felt alone, afraid, hopeless, lost, worthless - Mark's story acts as a reminder that you CAN and you WILL succeed as long as you keep your head up, keep trying and keep moving forward, despite any obstacles you may encounter along the way. This book is a real celebration of gritty determination and positive attitude and leaves you feeling inspired and liberated.
I am glad Mark shared his story and believe it should be read by everyone, at least once, and then placed on a shelf to act as a source of continuing comfort when times feel just a little bit tough.