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Top of Mind: Documenting Own Dementia

Here’s a conversation you won’t want to miss: When Gerda Saunders, a Gender Studies Director from the University of Utah, was diagnosed with dementia, she decided to document her experience. Her notes turned into the memoir “Memory’s Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia.”

When Julie asks Gerda if she was surprised that she was still able to write despite the diagnosis she says, “There are lesions on my brain that you can see on an MRI and they just happen not to be in my language centers yet . . . the fact that I could write was an enormous gift.” 

She details the disorientation she experiences on a daily basis, providing a vivid and relatable picture. Tune in here  for the full conversation.

Thank you to Gerda Saunders for a fascinating conversation and lovely visit. 

Top of Mind: Food

Food has been top of mind lately. This past month, we’ve sampled Vietnamese pho, discovered the wonder of ketchup in a Power Rangers Cake from Cake Wars, and aurally toured a floating farm in New York City that’s feeding people fresh produce for free.

We also spoke with cookbook author, Samin Norsat about how to break free from recipes. Turns out when you understand salt, fat, acid and heat, a new world of possibilities opens up and allows you to ditch the recipe. We spent a fascinating time with this 5-star chef in a private cooking tutorial.  

Now, even though we might think a good drink could only make a good meal better, if your choice is soda, you’re in for some bad news. Turns out it’s not only bad on the waste line—it’s bad on the brain.

Catch us live on Top of Mind, Mon-Fri, 5-7 EST.

Top of Mind: The Magic Yarn Project

When adult women battling cancer lose their hair, they may start wearing wigs and hats, but when children fighting cancer lose their hair, those options aren’t very appealing…Until now. Holly Christensen, an oncology nurse from Alaska has turned a one-time gift from a friend’s daughter into an international nonprofit organization making colorful yarn wigs for kids with cancer. Imagine a giant yellow braid festooned with flowers (Rapunzel-style), or for boys, a beanie with braided dreadlocks and beads to look like Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. Volunteers from around the world are churning out hundreds of these yarn wigs to brighten the lives of sick kids.

It’s called The Magic Yarn Project. It’s a project that has helped child cancer patients gain comfort and confidence in their young lives. Normal wigs can be harsh on their tender scalps but the soft yarn used for these princess inspired wigs help keep these children warm and happy.

This amazing project has been able to reach children all across the world, including places like Kenya. It is run solely on volunteer hours. And there are endless ways to get involved. You can donate money, crochet your own wig, attend workshops and much, much more. They get many request from parents for long princess wigs and need all the help they can get.

For more information on this amazing project, listen to our full interview with founder Holly Christensen here.

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