“I know where I’m going. I’m still myself. I just can’t remember things as well as I once did. So on short trips, I work hard not to be confused. I’ll say to myself, What are we going to do? How long are we staying? It’s like I’m talking to my other self—the self I used to be. She tells me, This is what we need to buy—not that. I’m conscious of that other self guiding me now.”
Restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef, and nationally known lifestyle maven, B. Smith is struggling at 66 with a tag she never expected to add to that string: Alzheimer's patient. She’s not alone. Every 67 seconds someone newly develops it, and millions of lives are affected by its aftershocks.
B. and her husband, Dan, working with Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Shnayerson, unstintingly share their unfolding story. Crafted in short chapters that interweave their narrative with practical and helpful advice, readers learn about dealing with Alzheimer's day-to-day challenges: the family realities and tensions, ways of coping, coming research that may tip the scale, as well as lessons learned along the way.
At its heart, Before I Forget is a love story: illuminating a love of family, life, and hope.
With a foreword by Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD
"...An enduring love story."
—Publishers Weekly starred review
"A brave and important story, told with candor, love and useful information. Before I Forget offers a real glimpse into what Alzheimer’s actually looks like in a loved one, and sheds a hopeful light on why this disease needs much more research, funding, and attention."
—Kimberly Williams-Paisley, actor and author of Where the Light Gets In
"What an amazing couple and what an amazing book! It is medically and scientifically accurate, and yet places this devastating disease in the context of a beautiful and intimate relationship. We must do better as a community, in our families and within our government in responding to this disease. African-Americans are especially called upon to get more involved in the research as this disease disproportionately impacts us."
—Dr. David Satcher, Former Surgeon General of the United States
“B. and her husband Dan made it to the top by breaking through societal barriers. Now they are facing down her heart- breaking diagnosis and fighting to live each day with love and dignity. Read Before I Forget to understand how Alzheimer’s tests both patient and family. Admire their courage, honesty, and how they use their celebrity to advocate for research and prevention.”
—Meryl Comer, president of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer's Initiative and author of Slow Dancing With A Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer's
"Before I Forget, Dan Gasby's valentine to his wife, B. Smith, courageously lifts the veil that shields those with Alzheimer's. It is moving testimony to the power of love and the true meaning of what "in sickness and health" really means. Before I Forget is, quite simply, unforgettable."
—George and Trish Vradenburg, Co-Founders, USAgainstAlzheimer's