David Wimberly is keenly familiar with the challenges of life with Alzheimer’s disease. After his wife, Virginia, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, Wimberly spent more than a decade worrying for her future and quality of life. Throughout that trying time and until her death in 2004, he and Virginia were comforted by the supportive presence of Kirk Daffner, MD, and his team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“I was so impressed by the concern and care Dr. Daffner and his staff show their patients and families,” says Wimberly. “They go out of their way to support the whole family in every way possible, from social and psychological services to promising clinical trials. I thought one way to honor Virginia would be to help Dr. Daffner expand their extraordinary scientific and humanitarian effort.”
In 2005, Wimberly made a gift to the hospital to establish the J. David and Virginia Wimberly Professorship in Neurology, with Daffner serving as the incumbent. More recently, his $500,000 gift created the J. David Wimberly Clinical Care Research Fund and named an exam room suite in BWH’s Neurosciences Center.
Wimberly hopes his gift will accelerate Daffner’s efforts to prevent, treat, and detect Alzheimer’s disease earlier, reduce the burden of symptoms, and prolong patients’ independence.
“I hope in the next 10 years they find ways to prevent Alzheimer’s through early diagnosis, and possibly even vaccinate people with certain genes or family history,” Wimberly says. “Thankfully, my children are healthy, but I know they worry about inheriting the disease that decimated the lives of their mother, uncle, and grandmother. I’m anxious and hopeful to see what can be done to benefit their generation.”