On a Personal Note
As this day goes on, I’m increasingly reminded of how fortunate I am to be able to do the work that I do, and be able to interact with and learn from an inspirational group of individuals like yourselves. Many of you have written to me to thank me for my work, or note how I’ve changed your life, but I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the support of this community. It’s your support for my work that continues to drive me to do more research, question commonly held assumptions, and search for the right answers.
It’s in that spirit that I want to share a personal note about why I wrote Grain Brain. Many times, I’ve mentioned how I want this book to be a guidebook for each and every one of you on your path to a healthier brain and body. In an ideal world, your copy of the book would end up looking like my old textbooks from medical school: earmarks, highlights, tears. However, the subject matter of Grain Brain is something I take so seriously because it has a very personal resonance with me.
My father was an incredibly talented physician in his own right, and it’s he who truly inspired me to go into medicine. The time I spent with him growing up was eye-opening and every time you thank me for my work, you’re really just thanking him for being such a great teacher. Some years ago my father, now 95, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I begin each day with a visit to the assisted living facility he currently resides at to spend some time with him and, though he may not always remember my name, he always asks me to check on his patients. He retired over twenty-five years ago.
The story of my father was very much a driving factor behind my interest in Alzheimer’s and desire to better understand the ailment. I only hope my research and work can provide families like mine with some answers, and helpful insight into how we can prevent and treat this disease.