I feel very fortunate that the Science editors at the New York Times have taken an interest in Brain in a Jar. The story of my family seems to have hit a nerve with a lot of people–no doubt because a lot of folks are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease in one way or another. Besides, I think we all have statistic fatigue on the amount of people acquiring AD. We’re numb from numbers. What we need is the real accounting of the lives affected, the lives lost.
Yes, it’s the story of each of the 26 million people in the world who have Alzheimer’s that we want to hear. Who are they? It makes me think of Jan Valjean, aka prisoner number 24601, singing “Who am I?”
One of them was Beau. One may be me. And people like me are trying to figure how to get on with life with the fear of AD hanging over our heads.
Since “Waiting for the Forgetting to Begin” appeared in Thursday’s online Times’ WELL blog, I have received emails from people around the world who share my story and want to talk about it. To be more than a number. Indeed, to put their own name on fear, loss, worry. A total of 138 people shared their story in the comment section following the article. I read each and every one of them.
What’s my advice to people like me, them, and you?