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SA-born author Gerda Saunders pens book about living with dementia

13 July 2017 5:28 PM
Gerda Saunders published her memoir "Memory’s Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia", which has received international acclaim.

South African-born author and professor Gerda Saunders has opened up about her life with dementia.

Saunders published her memoir "Memory’s Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia", which has received international acclaim.

Gerda was raised on a farm in South Africa and emigrated to the US with her husband Peter and their two small children in the 1980s.

On her 61st birthday in 2010, she was diagnosed with cerebral microvascular disease, a condition that stops blood reaching her brain.

Cerebral microvascular disease is the second leading cause of dementia after Altzheimers.

Within months, decided to retire from her position as the Associate Director of the Gender studies program at the University of Utah and began journaling her experiences.

She started jotting down notes about her daily challenges and misadventures.

Read: How setting the record straight changed the life of historian Deborah Lipstadt

I never really kept a journal... I saw this as more of observations.

Gerda Saunders, author

I had warning signs at work and at home.

Gerda Saunders, author

It was one of those moments that was shocking and funny at the same time when my neurologist said to me: It seems you are already 'dementing'.

Gerda Saunders, author

Take a listen to her moving story:


13 July 2017 5:28 PM