Lisa Fenn had been a sports reporter and Emmy Award winning producer for a number of years when her ESPN team went to Cleveland to cover the story of two disabled teen wrestlers– Dartanyon Crockett, who was homeless and legally blind, and Leroy Sutton who lost his legs in a train accident as a child.
The ESPN story of the courage of these two African-American boys received an overwhelming response with thousands of viewers offering help. Fenn stayed in the boys’ live to help and in 2013 a follow-up piece called “Carry On” ran and was called the “best story ESPN had ever aired” by both USA Today and Sports Illustrated.
You can see the whole piece by clicking the link above. I recommend setting aside 25 minutes and giving yourself the gift of seeing this story for yourself. Fenn’s book goes deeper into her relationship with the teens, helping them through college and into adulthood.
Publicity launches with NPR’s Weekend Edition and ESPN Magazine. And awareness of the book was surely raised when Nate Parker signed on to write the film of Carry On which will follow this fall’s much anticipated The Birth of a Nation.
“Great sports stories are never about sports. They are always about the trials and triumphs of the human spirit, regardless of the numbers on a scoreboard. No one knows that better than Lisa Fenn, whose heartfelt memoir of faith and the creation of an unlikely family grips you from the first page and pulls at your soul until the end. You need never have watched a second of wrestling, or any sport for that matter, to love this story, and to admire the woman who wrote it.”
— Steve Eubanks
Carry On: A Story of Resilience, Redemption, and an Unlikely Family (9780062427830) by Lisa Fenn. $25.99 hardcover. 8/16/16 on sale.