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"Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s" by Barbara Smith and Dan Gasby is a new resource available at local libraries from Effingham Area Alzheimer’s Awareness

B. (Barbara) Smith, a model, magazine publisher and author of lifestyle and entertaining books, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2013, at the age of 65. Part memoir and part caregiver’s guide, "Before I Forget" has short chapters that intertwine narratives by both of them with practical and helpful advice. Readers can learn about dealing with the day-to-day challenges of Alzheimer’s, family realities and tensions, ways of coping, upcoming research, and lessons learned along the way.

Smith and Gasby both use the book as a platform to discuss her challenges with Alzheimer’s disease as well as how their lives have changed since her diagnosis and the occasional mistakes made due to the unpredictability of Alzheimer’s, including a traumatic experience that involved Barbara getting lost on her own in New York City for 17 hours. 

The book is divided into ten parts with thirty-two chapters divided between them. At the end of each part, there is a section on “Lessons Learned," take-aways from each chapter the reader needs to know.

Gasby also relates his conversations with well-known doctors working in the Alzheimer’s field, voicing their frustrations and hopes for new drugs to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

The end of the book also includes a section on resources including associations and organizations, and other books that may be helpful.

This resource is available at the Effingham Public Library, Flora Public Library, Evans Public Library, Newton Public Library, Greenup Township Public Library, Shelbyville Public Library and the Mattoon Public Library in the Forget-Me-Not Resource Center. If you do not have a library card, ask at the main desk how you can check it out.

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