My aunt had visited DC and absolutely raved about her experience at B. Smith’s restaurant. You could call B. “the Black Martha Stewart.” Yet that ignores the fact that B. Smith was a household name in the Black community BEFORE Martha Stewart was.
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B. Smith put the FAB in Fabulous
I used to watch her cooking show where she shared her kitchen with many luminaries. Notable names including Gladys Night, Holly Robinson-Peete and opera diva Kathleen Battle. What struck me the most was not even the fantastic recipes, it was the way they’d fangirl over one another. Diva acknowledging diva.
Can you imagine going to someone’s house, sitting on furniture they designed, eating gourmet meals they prepared? And all the while the person looks like they just stepped off the set of a photo shoot?! Not fair, right? But that was B., she put the FAB in fabulous.
B. Smith put the FAB in fabulous.
But life sometimes takes a turn for the unexpected and the truly unfair. Her early onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis hit me like a punch in the gut, and I’m just a fan who has never met her. I cannot imagine the toll it has taken on her friends, family and of course, B. herself.
B. Smith’s devoted husband of over 20 years, Dan Gasby, has been a tireless Alzheimer’s advocate and caregiver for his wife. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2013. Their love story, which they say is based on “lust and trust” was chronicled in a book they co-authored, Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s. The book has been described as “gut wrenching,” “painful but honest” and a “must read for anyone with a loved one dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.” Dan reached out to The Awesome Muse to share their story.
Brain Health is the greatest 21st century civil rights issue
At a time when our country is poised to celebrate the remarkable life and civil rights legacy of the late Martin Luther King Jr., Today author and advocate Dan Gasby is joining forces with the American Brain Foundation (ABF) to raise awareness of the tremendous racial disparities that exist between African Americans and non-Hispanic whites when it comes to the diagnosis, treatment and lack of adequate studies of brain disease.
Brain Health is the greatest 21st century civil rights issue.
“Brain Health is the greatest 21st Century civil rights issue,” said Gasby. “When you lose your cognitive ability, your rights as a human being are greatly diminished.”
Gasby says this is particularly devastating for African Americans, who are twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to develop late onset Alzheimer’s. They are also less likely to have a diagnosis of their condition. This often results in little time for treatment and planning.
When you lose your cognitive ability, your rights as a human being are greatly diminished.
“From my experience as a caregiver, I know that brain disease robs sufferers of their dreams and ambitions and of their hopes and even their homes,” said Gasby. “Our brain health is often directly tied to our socioeconomic status. We need more funding, more awareness and more compassion for the more than 50 million Americans afflicted with brain diseases.”
It’s now time to defeat brain disease
Kevin Goodno, Board Chair of the ABF, a national charity whose mission is to bring researchers and donors together to defeat brain disease said Gasby’s election to the Board continues to diversify the organization which better positions the ABF to address the critical need for funding to accelerate research.
“Each of our Board members shares our organization’s collective passion to find a cure,” Goodno said. “Throughout our history, the American public has successfully rallied to beat back pervasive threats to our personal and public health, such as polio, cancer and HIV/AIDS. It’s now time to defeat brain disease.”
Gasby joins a distinguished ABF Board. It includes world-renowned neurologists, a former NFL Super Bowl champion, and Vice President Walter Mondale (Honorary Chair). The most recent member is Susan Schneider Williams, artist and widow of late actor and comedian Robin Williams.
About the American Brain Foundation
Happy Anniversary B. Smith and Dan Gasby!
We ❤️ Caregivers! pic.twitter.com/iW3O5c5N81
— AARP Black Community (@AARPBlackCom) December 22, 2016
For more information about the American Brain Foundation or to learn more, visit www.AmericanBrainFoundation.org, or find the Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.