Barbara Charles was born in Stoneville, NC. At the age of 10, she moved to Cambridge, Mass where Harvard University and Harvard Square were her playground. She attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and made NJ her home. After meeting her husband and having their children, Barbara returned to school to get her Masters In Systems Management. (M.I.S.M).
Then in her late 50’s she noticed what she called slight glitches in her memory. Seemed like only seconds, but enough to make her ‘notice’ something was not quite right. After struggling for years, Barbara was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s in June of 2018. Diagnosis took approximately 5 years because she was under the age of 65.
Being unable to find a solution to the issues she was experiencing, she finally succeeded in getting a diagnosis. Alzheimer’s! Devastation! Something she had always feared due to family history. Barbara knew Alzheimer’s had a hereditary factor in families. Additionally, she knew she might possibly go down that same path. The frightening part to diagnosis was that the journey took a long time, seeing many different doctors when she noticed ‘something’ seemed wrong. Having seen this with previous relatives, she started her search and found that Alzheimer’s is determined by having the two components of the disease after age 65. At that time, it was determined that she had one of the two components that identify Alzheimer’s. Additionally, she noticed it in her late 50’s so it was defined as Early Onset Alzheimer’s. (Alzheimer’s is defined when a patient is over the age of 65.)
This book is Barbara’s Mission to help others. Barbara wanted resources, tools, diets, activities, and supplements, and anything that might help her live to the best of her ability with Alzheimer’s. Anything that could help a person with Early Onset Alzheimer’s thrive without anxiety and fear while living with ‘day-to-day forgetfulness.’ Barbara, with both an IT and pharmaceutical background, thoroughly investigated all medical venues. She talked to various physicians, clinicians, and support groups to find out how she could combat this disease and ‘live’ a good life with this ‘condition.
Barbara is now thriving and striving to keep mentally and physically functional, despite the threat of full-blown Alzheimer’s. She chose to share this information to encourage others to live life to the fullest. As there is much work in progress to find a cure. Her purpose is to continue working toward building communities, health and wellness for those with Early Onset Alzheimer’s so that they can manage this disease and live better and longer. Additionally, keeping engaged in life, with people, with games, entertainment…anything to keep our brains working for as long as we can.
Barbara has an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) and a Bachelor of Information Systems Management, (B.I.S.M). She also has a Master’s Degree in Information Systems Management (M.I.S.M). She has lived in New Jersey for 47 years with her husband, three children, and grandchildren, whom she adores. The family moved to Florida in 2021.
A Special Thanks
Special thanks to all those who helped review and provide feedback for my book ‘One More Thing, Before I Forget, A Resource Guide to Living With Alzheimer’s, particularly Clevis Natera, an accomplished author and family member. Additional thanks to the Facebook Group Just for People with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease who read and provided valuable insight and support. Adrienne Smith, friend and incredible, non-judgemental supporter. Cori Ramos, who provided the web technical expertise to get me up and running. Christi Johnson, phenomenal instructor and coach. And all who contributed to the successful publishing and distribution of this book.