Terry Pratchett has rare, early-onset Alzheimer's

Terry Pratchett has addressed an open letter to his fans (on Paul Kidby's Discworld News) with some genuinely awful news -- he has a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer's. His note is incredibly brave and chipper. The man's a real inspiration -- incredibly prolific, brilliant and talented, friendly and clearly as happy as anything with where he's found himself.
Folks,

I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news. I have been diagnosed with a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer's, which lay behind this year's phantom "stroke".

We are taking it fairly philosophically down here and possibly with a mild optimism. For now work is continuing on the completion of Nation and the basic notes are already being laid down for Unseen Academicals. All other things being equal, I expect to meet most current and, as far as possible, future commitments but will discuss things with the various organisers. Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet :o)

Terry Pratchett

PS I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that this should be interpreted as 'I am not dead'. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as will everybody else. For me, this maybe further off than you think - it's too soon to tell. I know it's a very human thing to say "Is there anything I can do", but in this case I would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry.

Link (via MeFi)

See also:
Terry Pratchett's "Making Money" -- economic comedy
Pratchett's Discworld: a reading-order guide
Pratchett's "Going Postal": Graft, hackers, and a semaphore Internet
Terry Pratchett's Bromeliad trilogy (Truckers,
Pratchett's Lords and Ladies adapted to feature-length fan-film
Pratchett's Johnny and the Bomb coming to BBC TV
Discworld interrelations map
Wedding cake inspired by Discworld's Great A'Tuin