More than five million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. Over thirty five million people have been diagnosed worldwide. It is the sixth leading cause of death in our country. I must confess as an aging Baby Boomer, I must confess, the thought of someday being diagnosed myself scares the (expletive deleted) out of me. This came to my conscious mind this past Sunday as I interviewed Greg O’Brien the author of ” ON PLUTO: INSIDE THE MIND OF ALZHEIMER’S.’ Mr O’Brien has written what is probably the first book by someone with the disease. First diagnosed in his middle fifty’s he is now sixty four years old. His Doctors estimate he has another four to six years before his mind is gone. A career Journalist he decided to write a book filled not with gloom and doom but rather one filled with grace, humor, vulnerability insight and fight. He wants people to understand what it is like to have the disease both for the patient as well as for those who love them. Clearly it profoundly impacts both of them. Mr O’Brien is an incredibly brave man. To have a disease where you are essentially dying by inches and maintain his positive commitment to life is extraordinary. I’m don’t believe I could do it. Clearly He subscribes to that quote from Dylan Thomas “DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT RAGE RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT.”
Excellent interview Peter. I pray for Mr. O’brien and everyone suffering from this.