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Staff Picks: Memory's Last Breath

Josh Weathers / KUER

In 2010, Gerda Saunders learned that she has dementia. So she started writing what she calls field notes on the progress of her condition. The result is her memoir, Memory’s Last Breath. This episode was picked by KUER’s newsroom managing editor Elaine Clark

RadioWest divider.

In 2010, Gerda Saunders learned that she has dementia. She was 61 years old at the time, and soon had to leave her post teaching at the University of Utah. So Gerda started writing what she calls her field notes on dementia. The result is her memoir Memory’s Last Breath. And we’ve also been following Gerda with a series of short films documenting her journey. You can watch them here.  

Here's what KUER's Managing Editor Elaine Clark has to say about the episode:

When Gerda Saunders was diagnosed with dementia, she started taking “field notes,” observing herself like an anthropologist. As a team, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to help her tell her story – in both radio and film. I’ve learned so much about facing the truth and loving your family, friends and yourself from Gerda. There is no RadioWest without the generosity of our guests.

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.