Fantastic interview with Barry Petersen, author of the bestselling book, Jan’s Story, which chronicles the downward spiral of Barry’s precious wife, Jan, as she reaches into the bottomless pit of Early Onset Alzheimer’s.
Early Onset is especially cruel because it steals its victims in the prime of life, sometimes as early as mid-thirties. They have kids still living at home, they have jobs – and so does their caretaker. And worst of all, Early Onset takes its victims faster and harder, which compounds the problem because their caretakers have to balance work, parenting, and caretaking. It’s a pressure that often breaks the backs of the very strongest.
And what about love? That “til death do you part” doesn’t have an expiration date. Your love is still very much living, but doesn’t even know you. Do you say goodbye to love at the prime of life? These are issues that Barry delicately handles, and I’m so thrilled this interview captured the essence of Barry and his book.
I remember our editing sessions – we did them on Skype so we could go paragraph by paragraph – and I’d get off the phone and reach for my Kleenex box. For Barry, editing was live tearing off a fresh scab and I hated having to put him through it, but I knew we had a bestseller on our hands and I wanted it right. The result is that Jan’s Story is THE go-to book for Early Onset Alzheimer’s.
I hope you listen to the interview. Chances are you’ve heard Barry’s reports on TV or radio and never realized it. His golden voice is as distinctive as his reports. It’s heartbreaking that he had to report on his own personal tragedy, but he has done the Alzheimer community a wealth of good.
Godspeed, Barry. Godspeed, Jan.