Schoolcraft Author Published in Chicken Soup for the Soul Series


By Tim Staffen

“It’s like giving someone 101 friends when they are in need of comfort and support,” says Julie Staffen, of Schoolcraft, describing the newly released Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias.

Staffen, a contributing writer to this latest version in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, will be signing books on May 17 from 1-3 p.m. at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Portage.

A collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association, this latest release combines the most up-to-date information on best practices and coping strategies for living with Alzheimer’s with the comfort and sense of community you get from a Chicken Soup for the Soul book.

Tips from the Alzheimer’s Association are included throughout the book, offering even more resources and help for those caring for loved ones.

Staffen’s story relates the changes she and her father, Raymond Surbeck, experienced in their relationship as he lived with Alzheimer’s until his death in September, 2011.

“I had to let go of the father-daughter relationship and just be there for him as a trusted friend,” she says. “In my story, I share with the readers how my position changed as our activities changed. When we were in the car, he thought I was his taxi driver. When I took him to the fitness center, I took on the role of a fitness trainer in his mind. In the end, he told me that he didn’t always remember me as his daughter but he always knew I was someone he could trust.”

Being published in Chicken Soup for the Soul helped Staffen reach a lifelong goal.

“In 1992 I had a job interview and they asked me where I wanted to be in five years,” she says. “My response was ‘I want to write a book about Alzheimer’s and donate the money to help find a cure.’”

Julie lost her grandmother, Mary Surbeck, in 1976 to Alzheimer’s. Besides her grandmother and father, Julie lost an uncle and an aunt to Alzheimer’s and has one uncle currently living with the disease.

“Being part of this Chicken Soup for the Soul book allowed me to reach my goal after all these years and support a great cause,” she says.

All royalties from the book will go to the Alzheimer’s Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Julie is also the author of the children’s books, Krista Kay Adventures series.

According to the 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. For more information on Alzheimer’s disease, visit the Alzheimer’s Association at® or call 800.272.3900.


Chicken Soup for the Soul publishes the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. In 2007, USA Today named Chicken Soup for the Soul one of the five most memorable books in the last quarter-century. With over 100 million books sold to date in the U.S. and Canada alone, more than 250 titles, and translations into more than 40 languages, the series has made “chicken soup for the soul” one of the world’s best-known phrases.

Today, 20 years after it first began sharing happiness, inspiration and wellness through its books, Chicken Soup for the Soul continues to delight its readers with new titles, but has also evolved beyond the bookstore. Its high quality products include wholesome and balanced pet food that recognizes the unique relationship between pets and people and a new line of delicious nutritious comfort food inspired by the connection between food and feelings. Chicken Soup for the Soul is “always there for you.” For more information, visit

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