In this week’s edition of Dr. Richard Taylor’s influential newsletter Alzheimer’s from the Inside Out, Richard shared the difficult news that in addition to being a leading advocate for and person living with dementia he is now also a person living with a rare and dangerous form of cancer.
The diagnosis is esophageal cancer and Richard announced he will be curtailing his advocacy activities indefinitely while he works with a team of physicians on a course of treatment. Richard is a prolific speaker and author and has contributed immensely to building a global grassroots movement to humanize dementia care and his abrupt withdrawal from advocacy will be sorely missed. However, Richard is not saying “Farewell” but instead calling on friends and advocates in this newly formed movement to continue to engage and speak out:
And so I “Hail” the new advocates, the new folks standing up and speaking out. I Hail all of you who are daily in some ways or another confronting, living with, and attempting to humanize dementia care, and especially in those who live with dementia. This is not to my mind farewell. It is at best a pause in my engagement, and at worst a farewell to all the friends I have made while speaking out about what it is like to me to live with Dementia. I have never thought in terms of “fighting dementia”, being in a war with it, etc. I engage it each day looking to maximize the availability quality of life which is within reach. My reach has shortened a tad, but I’m still reaching, still living my life to its fullest. I am down, but far from out!Stay tuned, I will for sure.