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Published: Jul 10th, 2015

Barbara Smith Living with Alzheimer’s: ‘I Am Fighting Right Now’

Still Fighting - Barbara Smith with Alzheimer’s
Article Updated:September 21st, 2019

UPDATED September 21, 2019


B. Smith’s ordeal with Alzheimer’s continues to be news. She has been living with the consequences of Alzheimer's disease since being diagnosed in 2013. NBC’s Today Show, as well as other media outlets, have been reporting on her husband, Dan Gasby, and his relationship with another woman while caring for his wife who is still his legal wife.


His Facebook post in December of 2018 started many conversations as he announced he was in a relationship with Alex Lerner, age 53. This sparked a negative response from many people who see it as inappropriate while his wife still battles Alzheimer's.


Many American families try many ways to cope with long-term care and the costs, most emotionally and financially. While Long-Term Care Insurance won’t address relationships, it can make your future need for care easier on those you love by providing you access to your choice of care in the setting you desire. Thus, the consequences of aging are made easier. Family has the time to be family. Plus, the tax-free resources provided by these policies protects your income and savings.


Experts suggest researching Long-Term Care Insurance when you are younger, your 40s and 50s, so you can take advantage of good health discounts and much lower premiums. LTC NEWS provides many resources for you to start your research – access them by clicking here.

By Barbara Kimberly Seigle

Last summer, when the inspiring model, designer, and restaurateur B. Smith revealed her battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, she expressed her determination not to let it bring her down.

Now, nearly a year later, she is proving that determination goes a long way.

“I had tears in my eyes, but at that same time, I said, ‘I’m not gonna give to it. I’m gonna fight. I am going to fight.”

Barbara Smith, who is best known as B

told Al Roker while discussing her diagnosis on Friday’s Today Show.

“I deal with it in a practical way.” 

Barbara Smith

“I know that I’ve got a problem. It doesn’t make me happy. Sometimes it makes me teary, but because I have great support … I’m doing fine. I’m doing really good.”

Dan Gasby, that support is her husband of 23 years, .

“You dont believe it, there’s total denial, he told Roker of learning about Smiths illness four years ago. “And then you go to a point of anger and then you go to a point of frustration. And then you go to a point where you curse God and you say, ‘Why? She doesn’t deserve this.’ She is the sweetest human being, bar none.”

Smith, who in 1976 became one of the first African-American models to grace the cover of Mademoiselle magazine, is resorting to her indomitable spirit to deal with her diagnosis – and help others.

“Im going to wash those tears and just continue to go back and be a better person even than Ive been in the past.” 

Barbara Smith

In fact, the former host of daytime show B. Smith with Style has filmed a public service announcement with the ‘Brain Health Registry’ to raise awareness for brain disorders and urge people, especially minorities, to help with clinical research.

Her journey has not been easy. Smith went missing for more than 17 hours in November after getting off at the wrong stop on her way from New York City to Sag Harbor on Long Island.

“I wanted to be free,” she said of the ordeal, which was terrifying for Gasby. “I thought I lost her,” he said. “It was like living a nightmare.”

That’s why he is trying to make every day count. “The first thing I think about is trying to create the best possible moments we can have,” he said of their future.

A future that Smith is rallying for. “I am fighting, I am fighting right now. I will be fighting.” 

“And I am lucky I have a best friend.”

Barbara Smith