Now five years after her diagnosis, B. Smith’s husband Dan is her primary caregiver. He tries to keep her mind stimulated by reading the day’s paper with her every morning and play word games with her. He sometimes forgets how easily she used to cook, prepare meals and take care of the house and would get frustrated, but he says they’re both up for the the challenge of Alzheimer’s.
“Anyone that thinks going through this is a walk in the park, is living life in the dark. You have the same person, but you don’t have her. We know that we’re in a fight–and we’re going to fight back,” her husband Dan says.
“I’m still myself. I just can’t remember things as well as I once did,” she writes in a new book called Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, And Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s, written with husband Dan Gasby and with Vanity Faircontributing editor Michael Shnayerson.
While the book is largely a memoir — with Smith and Gasby telling the story of Smith’s diagnosis and gradual decline (she has gone from the mild to the moderate stage since they first went public in mid-2014) — it’s also a call to action, particularly for African Americans.
“The reason we are launching this during Martin Luther King weekend is that Alzheimer’s is a 21st-century civil rights issue,” Gasby says in a videoSkype interview with Smith, 66, at his side. “Two out of three people with Alzheimer’s disease are women. Blacks are two to three times more likely to have Alzheimer’s. … And it drives people into poverty, in many cases taking away the gains that a sizable and growing portion of people in the African-American community have made.”
Back in 2014 B. Smith had an Alzheimer’s scare:
An alert has gone out for famed restaurateur and former model Barbara Smith, known as B. Smith, 64, who revealed earlier this year that she’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, has been reported missing on Long Island.
**UPDATE: CBS News tweeted it confirmed that B. Smith was found in a diner in Manhattan.**
FOX News was the first to report that Smith was last seen in Southampton, Long Island, at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday…