For this I am Grateful

This page is dedicated to my book ‘For this I am Grateful’ which was published recently. You can a little bit about it, in the following except of the Foreward written by my friend Kate Swaffer:

“In this book, you will not only learn from the personal experiences of being diagnosed with younger onset dementia, but also about living more positively with dementia. You will be jolted into one remarkable woman’s reality of this disease. When I say reality, I do not only mean only the difficulties and significant challenges due to the acquired cognitive disabilities caused by any diagnosis of dementia, but equally, if not more so, the very great hurdles faced by all people with dementia on a daily basis due to the continued pervasive stigma, discrimination and 20th century attitudes towards people with dementia. You will also learn much about one Canadian woman who is both fearless, and resilient.

I’ve come to know Christine Thelker as a friend and fellow dementia advocate, since she became a member Dementia Alliance International. Like me, she too has become an activist for people with dementia for human rights, and for the world to reframe dementia as a disability, as I have for the last decade, and as the World Health Organisation and the United Nations have now for a number of years.

Also like mine, and most others diagnosed with dementia, her experience after diagnosis was to be told there is nothing that can be done, and to get her end of life affairs in order, which I refer to as Prescribed Disengagement®. No rehabilitation. No disability assessment or proactive disability support. No support or advice to keep living positively. Frankly, this is not good enough, and until her last breath, I believe Christine will speak up for these things. Thankfully, this book will be one of her legacies when she can no longer speak.

She is a powerhouse, with much to say, and this book is the culmination of a lot of hard work, not only in terms of the time and dedication it takes anyone to write a book, but the work she has had to do, to support her cognitive abilities, to ensure she could still write, could still get her words out and down on paper. You see, some days, getting out of bed and getting dressed is like a marathon… we both live with mostly invisible disabilities, which means some days, functioning is a moment by moment thing. 

Her book will expose you, in the true sense of that word, to the world of despair and sadness brought on by a diagnosis of dementia, but also to the joy and the humour. And I do mean joy and humour; for me personally, dementia is, in fact, the third greatest gift of my life, and being diagnosed aged 49, I feel I too have special insights, which have helped me to more intuitively, and more profoundly understand Christine’s story… “

I was delighted to be interviewed by Lori Le Bay on Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio about it too. Thanks Lori!

You can purchase a copy of my book here… or on Amazon.