Us Against Alzheimer's: Stories of Family, Love, and Faith

Us Against Alzheimer's: Stories of Family, Love, and Faith


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This groundbreaking multicultural anthology shares moving personal stories about the impacts of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

An estimated 5.7 million Americans are afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease, including 10 percent of those over sixty-five, and it is the sixth leading cause of death. But its effects are more pervasive: for the nearly 6 million sufferers, there are more than 16 million family caregivers and many more family members. Alzheimer’s wreaks havoc not only on brain cells; it is a disease of the spirit and heart for those who suffer from it but also for their families.

This groundbreaking anthology presents forty narratives, both nonfiction and fiction, that together capture the impact and complexity of Alzheimer’s and other dementias on patients as well as their caregivers and family. Deeply personal, recounting the wrenching course of a disease that kills a loved one twice—first they forget who they are, and then the body succumbs—these stories also show how witnessing the disease and caring for someone with it can be powerfully transformative, calling forth amazing strength and grace.
The contributors, who have all generously donated their work, include Edwidge Danticat, Julie Otsuka, Elizabeth Nunez, Meryl Comer, Greg O’Brien, Dr. Daniel Potts, Sallie Tisdale, and Nihal Satyadev. Reflecting the diversity and global nature of the dementia crisis, this anthology is published in collaboration with UsAgainstAlzheimer’s.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948924146
Publisher: Arcade
Publication date: 09/21/2019
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 374,873
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Marita Golden is the award-winning author of sixteen works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Wide Circumference of Love, a 2017 NPR Best Book and 2018 NAACP Image Award nominee, published by Arcade and now being adapted for TV by Just A Rebel Productions. She is the cofounder and president emeritus of the Hurston/Wright Foundation and a veteran teacher of writing. She has served as a member of the faculties of the MFA graduate creative writing programs at George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University and in the MA creative writing program at John Hopkins University, and has taught writing internationally to a variety of constituencies. A longtime resident of Washington, DC, she currently lives in Mitchellville, Maryland.

George Vradenburg is chairman of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, which he cofounded in October 2010. He was named by US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to serve on the Advisory Council on Research, Care, and Services established by the National Alzheimer's Project Act and has testified before Congress about the global Alzheimer’s pandemic. He is a member of the World Dementia Council. He and UsAgainstAlzheimer's co-convene both the Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer's Disease (LEAD) Coalition and the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer's Disease. With his wife Trish (1946–2017), George has long been a dedicated member of Washington's civic and philanthropic community. George served as chairman of The Phillips Collection for thirteen years and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Economic Club of Washington. He has served in senior executive and legal positions at CBS, FOX and AOL/Time Warner. George and Trish published TikkunMagazine for ten years.

David Shenk is the bestselling author of six books, including The Genius in All of Us, The Forgetting, Data Smog, and The Immortal Game. He is cohost of the public radio podcast The Forgetting and  creator of the Living with Alzheimer’s Film Project, and has contributed to National Geographic, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Nature Biotechnology, Harper's, The New Yorker, the Atlantic, the New Republic, NPR, BBC, and PBS. Shenk lives in Brooklyn, NY, and Southfield, MA. 


Table of Contents

Foreword David Shenk vii

Introduction George Vradenburg, chairman and cofounder, UsAgainstAlzheimer's ix

Introduction Marita Golden 1

Turning Points

Introduction 7

Alzheimer's and the ER Jane Bandler 8

Every 68 Seconds Meryl Comer 13

Me Fe Nos Sostiene (My Faith Sustains Us) Daisy Duarte 17

The Way In Marita Golden 21

Father Figures Evans D. Hopkins 30

Butter in the Sugar Bowl Elizabeth Nunez 45

Anchored Against Alzheimer's Sonsyrea Tate 54

Revelations Loretta Anne Woodward Veney 61

All that Remains

Introduction 67

The Last Conversation Bari Diane Adelman 68

Devil's Alley Tina Jenkins Bell 71

Mother's Memories When She Can't Remember Them? Danielle Belton 75

The Other Side of Here Cathie Borrie 79

What Happened to Brad? Carol Bradley Bursack 84

Fear and Laughter Lisa Friedman 88

Ten Seconds Susan Kim Campbell 91

My First Mentor Lenore Gay 95

Be Here Now Marita Golden 98

Heading Out to Pluto Greg O'Brien 104

Hell No Greg O'Brien 109

The Demons Were Chasing Greg O'Brien 115

Tears Melting Inside Vicki Tapia 120

Out of Time Sallie Tisdale 122

I Won't Forget You

Introduction 139

Aunt Addie Malaika Adero 140

My Mother's Mirror Cathy Alter 144

Sister Travelers Miriam DeCosta-Willis 148

Walking in Faith Colleen (O'Brien) Everett 152

The Echo of Loss Cleyvis Natera 158

Unforgettable Brendan McGeorge O'Brien 169

Bringing John Back Home Daniel C. Potts 173

83 Years of Immortality Nihal Satyadev 178

Tying Alan's Shoes Wren Wright 183

Sealed and Delivered Wren Wright 186

Alzheimer's in the Family Ann Marshall Young 189

Stranger Than Fiction

Introduction 195

Sunrise, Sunset Edwidge Danticat 196

The Beaches of Hazel Sasso Heather L. Davis 213

New World Julie Langsdorf 220

Charlemagne Joe A. Oppenheimer 224

Diem Perdidi Julie Otsuka 237

Demented Lauren-Francis-Sharma 247

Casting Stones Julia Tagliere 258

Golden Anniversary Katia D. Ulysse 273

Contributor Biographies 277

Acknowledgments 287

Permissions Acknowledgments 289

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