This year's event will have an extra special amount of love and support. In the three previous years, my co-host has been the NYC great, Chef Gerry Hayden who was fighting the same disease. Not only was he a brother in arms, his beautiful and talented wife is Chef Claudia Flemming, the evening's pastry chef.
There is a widespread public perception that dementia can lead to a loss of a sense of self, but this notion has not been rigorously investigated. One way to study this is to look at actual cases of brain degeneration, and see if the damage is linked to identity changes perceived by others. Do people with specific kinds of brain damage become no longer themselves?