We are AlzAuthors, five daughters who have experienced the loss of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and decided to write about it.
We know the pain of being forgotten.
We have all witnessed decline.
We have provided countless hours of caregiving.
Our books were written with a common goal: To make a difference!
We chose to write about our personal stories to help others along their journey and we invite others to join us.
Our words serve as caregiver handbooks, guides through the disease process, or a catalyst for much needed conversation.
May one of Our AUTHORS speak to your experience.
How it all began
In June of 2015, authors Marianne Sciucco, Jean Lee, and Vicki Tapia became cyber friends on social media after reading each other’s books. Recognizing the power of collaboration, the trio began promoting their books together and writing blog posts about Alzheimer’s, dementia, and caregiving for different caregiver websites. They believed three voices could increase impact.
A year later, Shannon Wiersbitzky joined the group. The team decided to create a website to gather resources in one place where caregivers and those living with memory impairment could find solid support, and authors could find the proper audience. They invited authors to write short posts about the story behind their story and these writings birthed AlzAuthors.com. Within that first year, over 60 authors became an “AlzAuthor.”
Our Collaboration Today
Now, two short years later, AlzAuthors.com continues to feature a new author each week and receives requests for inclusion from writers worldwide. The website is fast approaching 150 authors. Kathryn Harrison and Ann Campanella have joined the team of volunteers with Marianne, Jean and Vicki in the administration of this not-for-profit website.
AlzAuthors.com is a community of bestselling, award-winning authors who have never shaken hands or shared a cup of coffee, yet came together because their lives have been impacted by Alzheimer’s and dementia.
AlzAuthors Bookstore is a vast, go-to collection of top books for individuals, assisted living facilities, doctor’s offices, and other businesses offering eldercare services. As an Amazon affiliate, the small percentage of proceeds earned from bookstore sales contributes to the cost of maintaining the website.
Together, all AlzAuthors strive to eliminate the stigma surrounding the most important disease of our generation, estimated to affect 47 million people worldwide.
2018 Highlights and Opportunities
- AlzAuthors will speak at the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Education Conference in North Carolina in August.
- AlzAuthors will donate books for an Alzheimer’s and dementia-friendly cruise in September planned by Lisa Marie Chirico, founder of Nursinghomeology.com. Cruise participants will receive these books as daily prizes. eBooks will also be offered on sale to cruise attendees. Four AlzAuthors are featured speakers on the cruise.
- AlzAuthors will publish an anthology of their first year’s blog posts in November, with the goal of reaching those who have not discovered the AlzAuthors website or prefer to read an eBook or paperback.
One can sing a lonely song, but we chose to form a choir and create harmony.
@AlzAuthors on Twitter
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resources Facebook Page
Instagram as @AlzAuthors
AlzAuthors Admin team:
Jean Lee’s parents were both diagnosed on the same day with Alzheimer’s Disease. She worked full time as an elementary teacher while experiencing the heartbreak, confusion, and exhaustion common to all caregivers. Through her memoir, Alzheimer’s Daughter, readers travel a journey beginning with a WWII romance, through aging and first suspicions to finally her parents’ last breaths. “I wrote the book I needed to read while caregiving for my parents,” she says. Her memoir is a beautiful but poignant tribute to her parents and a source of support for caregivers.
Vicki Tapia also cared for both parents. After teaching somewhere around 10,000 mother/baby pairs the art of breastfeeding, Vicki Tapia, lactation consultant, found her energies redirected to the other end of life, after both parents were diagnosed with dementia. A diary written to help her cope with caregiving morphed into Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia, a finalist in the 2015 High Plains Book Awards. Called a “must read for caregivers,” this memoir is written in a conversational style, filled with personal lessons learned along the way, ideas and tips for managing the day-to-day difficulties of dementia, and useful information from experts within the field of Alzheimer’s research.
Marianne Sciucco is a registered nurse who cared for hundreds of dementia patients over a 20-year career. Her novel, Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s Love Story, is based on a couple she met through her work and is a testament to the power of love in the face of this heart wrenching disease. Marianne’s tender work of fiction brings consolation and understanding to all who encounter Alzheimer’s. Ironically, two years after her novel’s publication, she started living her own story, when a loved one was diagnosed with dementia. “Suddenly, I was the one with all the answers, all the responsibility. It’s overwhelming,” she says. “I immediately turned to my AlzAuthors friends to help navigate this stressful situation. The wealth of knowledge I have gained from my years as a nurse working with dementia patients and their families also keeps me sane.”
Kathryn Harrison was compelled to create a children’s book about dementia, Weeds in Nana’s Garden, following her mother’s passing from Frontotemporal dementia in 2010. During her family’s journey with the disease, she noticed how much involving her two young children in caregiving added value to the experience. Thus, she decided to create an engaging picture book that could reach many children, enhance their understanding of dementia and perhaps encourage them to connect more with those on this journey. The enchanting illustrations in Kathryn’s award-winning book enhance the poignancy of the loving story. It is available in English, French, German and Portuguese. What’s more, Kathryn has collaborated with another Dementia Care Expert, Jaclyn Guenette, and will be launching a new book for children about dementia this May.
Ann Campanella, a horsewoman and former magazine and newspaper editor, has been published nationally and internationally. She wrote her award-winning memoir, Motherhood: Lost and Found, after her mother developed Alzheimer’s at the same time Ann was trying to become a parent and experiencing infertility. Ann’s remarkable book records the ordinary and extraordinary courage of those who endure family tragedy, yet continue to find hope and beauty in their circumstances. Twice, Ann received the Poet Laureate Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society for poems written about her parents. Now, the grateful mother of a teenager, she enjoys writing, blogging, and making connections with others on the caregiving journey.
We are AlzAuthors: Writing. Sharing. Inspiring. Caring.