African Americans face greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease than whites
A decade ago, Rushern Baker III started seeing signs that something was wrong with his wife when she was still in her late 40s. Christa Beverly was forgetting things and losing things. Then, she was hopelessly lost only blocks from her parents’ home.
It took some doing, but he convinced her to see a doctor. She was tested, and at age 49 was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. At the time, Baker was preparing to run for county executive in Prince Georges County, Md., which borders Washington, D.C., an election he won in 2010.
Within a few years of the diagnosis, Christa had lost most of her functions. Today, at age 58, she is unable to talk, walk, or eat on her own, but she remains at home. Baker, 60, was re-elected county executive in 2014, and mounted an unsuccessful primary campaign for Maryland governor in 2018, but remained his wife’s primary caregiver through it all.