‘Mbombela, this is for you!’

Tina Baer, Ari Seirlis and Bruce Fordyce.

Some people had travelled from as far as Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand. Guests enjoyed a glass of wine and snacks, along with the opportunity to mingle with Comrades legend, Bruce Fordyce, who wrote the foreword for the book, well-known Afrikaans singer, Mathys Roets, and the woman of the hour herself.

Brave Lotus Flower Rides the Dragon is the inspiring, engaging, yet deeply personal story of Tracy’s life since the horrific car accident which left her paralysed from the neck down.

It is also the story of those who stood by her side over the last 19 years; her caregivers, friends, and the supportive Lowveld community. The book was crowdfunded on the website, thundafund.com, where over one hundred people raised the R112 550 to get the memoir published.

This community, each and every one of you, Brave Lotus Flower Rides the Dragon is for you,” Tracy said to the crowd.

Tracy Todd.

She thanked her “dream team” of organisers for all their help in transforming Buffalo Court into a professional book launch venue.

Let us remember, we are in a shopping mall,” she said with a smile.

Also read: Driving Miss Tracy

She also praised Ron Olivier, who designed the cover of her memoir.

“For me, it’s an amazing thing to have a person in a wheelchair on the front cover of a book,” Tracy said.

Attendees were also treated to animated and heartfelt talks by Fordyce, Tracy’s physiotherapist Melanie Harding, Ari Seirlis of the QuadPara Association of South Africa, and publisher Tracey McDonald.

The launch really hit a high note when crooner, and Tracy’s close friend, Roets took to the stage, performing crowd favourites such as the late Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

A paralysis/spinal awareness drive was also held in Buffalo Court over the weekend, where visitors to the mall and able-bodied members of the public were encouraged to take part in a wheelchair race to see what being in a wheelchair was all about.

It highlighted, in turn, the lack of facilities for physically-disabled people in the Lowveld region.

Philippa Francis

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