Date Published: June 27, 2023
From being a little girl in a village in China with polio to a tech executive at Apple, Libo Cao Meyers (曹力波) has had quite a journey in life—a journey steeped in rich family legacy and powered by determination, growth, and love. Over the years and the miles, she’s embraced her differences and has allowed no one—including herself—to set limitations on what she’s able to accomplish.
But just because she’s been successful doesn’t mean it’s been easy. Not by a long shot.
Along the way, Libo has overcome challenges as an immigrant in a new country, a person with a disability, a mother, and a woman in the male-dominated world of technology.
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.
Every journey is unique, but Libo’s experiences contain insight that connects us all. Limp Forward is a captivating, unbridled exploration of the truths that guide us and shows what is possible when we pursue our full potential.
READ AN EXCERPT BELOW...
About the Author
Libo Cao Meyers is a veteran of Silicon Valley’s culture of innovation, a board member, and a high-tech executive at Apple, where she helps build products that enrich people’s lives. Libo grew up in a village in Northern China and was diagnosed with polio as an infant. She did not let her disability quiet her ambition, immigrating alone to the United States at twenty-four and simultaneously completing her MS and PhD at Ohio University in two different engineering fields. From there, she once again put limitations aside and became an athlete by completing a Century Ride—a 100-mile bike ride—despite lingering leg complications from polio. She is proud to be part of the Cao family, which for the last 500 years of its 3000-year history, has kept a family record, each generation striving for more and contributing to a deeply-rooted legacy. She lives in California with her husband, Curt, and their two sons. For more, visit www.libomeyers.com.
Excerpt from "Limp Forward"
I believe that I can lose, but I can’t give in. When I am told “no,” I make my own “yes.”
“No, you won’t be admitted to college and study the major you want.
Those are for ‘complete’ talents, and you are disabled with polio.”
So I went to a college and became the first to complete a four-year college in three years, with a graduate school admission.
“No, you can’t possibly complete a master’s degree in a field, while pursuing another doctorate degree in a different area at the same time! Nobody has ever done that, and you will fail in both.”
So I limped forward to the opposite side of the globe, earned both a Ph.D. and M.S. degree in two different fields within 4 years, and stood strong on my own in a new country.
“No, you can’t participate in sports or be an athlete because of your polio leg!”
So I completed a 100-mile bike ride, racing against 50 mph wind for 11.5 hours with the strength of one leg.
“No, you can’t find your dream man to marry. Lower your expectations and settle for what you can get.”
So I developed a scientific approach with machine learning models for dating, found the man of my dreams after the 82nd attempt, and married him. . . without lowering any of my expectations.
“No, you can’t excel in Silicon Valley. It’s a man’s world.”
So I became a high-tech executive at Apple, and I kept learning, growing, and leaping forward to my next set of goals . . .