Dan Gasby, husband of famed former restaurateur B. Smith, says that caring for his wife, first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago, continues to be an ongoing battle.
Gasby recently made the remark during an interview on the Tom Joyner Morning Show – one day before making an appearance at the Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s, Aging and Community Health Alzheimer’s Luncheon for Caregivers at North Carolina A&T State University.
“When we got the diagnosis we were devastated because this woman, who always looks 20 years than she is, she looked at me and said she didn’t want anyone to define her,” Gasby, 63, said. “Two out of three women with Alzheimer’s are Black women. The more we looked into it, we knew we had to make a clarion call.”
Alzheimer’s, referred to as “the long goodbye,” leads to an irreversible decline in memory. African Americans have a higher rate of vascular disease, one of the suspected factors of Alzheimer’s, and currently an estimated 5.1 million Americans, aged 65 and over suffer from the mysterious ailment for which there has been no cure.
Smith, 67, and Gasby have written a book, “Before I Forget,” that details their battle with the disease.
“It’s a journey that’s up and down,” Gasby said. “She has a good attitude [as she] tries her best to understand what she’s going through. But it’s a tough struggle. “It’s like fighting ISIS or Al-Qaeda or any sort of terrorist group.”