Debra J. Mayberry became a consummate champion in the fight against Alzheimer’s after her father died from complications related to the disease.
In 1981, she met with representatives from the seven founding Alzheimer’s Association chapters from around the country. When she returned home, she placed an ad in the Democrat and Chronicle, announcing a public meeting at the library for those seeking answers about the disease.
Eighty people showed up, and at that meeting, Debra decided to start the Rochester chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Today, the chapter is considered one of the most successful in the country, offering vital programs and services to more than 100,000 people affected by the disease in our region.
Debra, an honorary member of the chapter’s Board of Directors, remains active in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2011, the Alzheimer’s Association of Rochester & the Finger Lakes created an award in honor of its founder. The Debra J. Mayberry Inspiration Award is given annually to a woman in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region who has made significant and impactful contributions to women’s health and overall quality of life.