Former TV Host B. Smith Opens Up About Alzheimer's: "I Am Fighting Right Now" (Video)
"I had tears in my eyes. But at the same time, I also said, 'I'm not going to give in to it. I am going to fight.' "
Barbara Smith, better known as B. Smith, is a restaurateur, former model and TV host, and she is battling early onset Alzheimer's disease.
Smith, 65, spoke with Today's Al Roker about how she's dealing with the disease and how she and her husband of 23 years, Dan Gasby, are working to raise awareness about Alzheimer's.
"I had tears in my eyes," said Smith about getting the diagnosis. "But at the same time, I also said, 'I'm not going to give in to it. I am going to fight.' "
Gasby and Smith talked about the anger, frustration and sadness that came with the diagnosis, sharing experiences they had with Smith's memory loss. However, they are working together to move forward.
"The first thing I think about is to try to create the best possible moments we can have," Gasby said of the couple's future. "If I had to do it all over again, I would've been happy for her to choose me as I would've been to choose her."
"I am fighting. I'm fighting right now. I will be fighting," said Smith. Her husband added, "We'll fight. There's only one way: forward. That's it."
Smith has created a public service announcement with the Brain Health Registry to promote awareness about the disease, encourage people to sign on to the registry and engage in clinical trials searching for a cure. She wants to focus on raising awareness for minorities. African Americans are twice as likely as whites to develop Alzheimer's. Watch her PSA below.