Trish’s Deep-Rooted and Unflinching Passion to Fight Alzheimer’s Creates Admirable and Aspirational Legacy
WASHINGTON, DC, April 18, 2017 – UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and Vice Chair Trish Vradenburg’s unflinching spirit – her creativity and imagination, quick-witted humor, empathy, generosity and her exceptional tenacity to stop the suffering of others – was captured in her every action. It is with immense sadness that UsAgainstAlzheimer’s announces her passing, and it is with the utmost gratitude that the organization cherishes her legacy and forges ahead in her memory.
Trish’s life was an inspiring portrait of creativity and versatility, employing her gifts of writing and storytelling throughout a successful professional career. She began her career as a speechwriter in the U.S. Senate. She wrote for various television shows, including Designing Women, Family Ties and Kate and Allie. Trish’s novel, Liberated Lady, was chosen as Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections and has been translated into three foreign languages.
As a journalist, she wrote extensively for The New York Daily News, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Ladies’ Home Journal and Women’s Day. Surviving Grace, Trish’s quasi-autobiographical play about a sitcom writer and her mom battling Alzheimer’s disease together, was produced at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Off Broadway at the Union Square Theater. It is now being performed at various community theaters throughout the country, as well as in Brazil.
Founded with her husband George Vradenburg, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s was born out of their passion to fight back against Alzheimer’s disease, which Trish’s mother Bea Lerner, the wife of her father Joseph H. Lerner, succumbed to in 1992. Trish’s unique whimsical style, the perfect complement to George’s more serious side, was instrumental in leading the organization on a path to make meaningful progress against a disease that caused their family so much pain.
Trish was a gifted and relentless advocate. She helped achieve increased funding for Alzheimer’s research and build a growing public-private consensus that a cure for the disease must be reached by the year 2025. Recently, she spearheaded the launch of the Alzheimer’s Party, imploring members of Congress to join a bipartisan movement to end Alzheimer’s disease.
Trish also served on the Council of Theater J and on the boards of DC Vote and the Vradenburg Foundation.
She is survived by her adoring husband George; daughter Alissa Vradenburg and son-in-law Michael Sheresky of Los Angeles, CA; son Tyler Vradenburg and daughter-in-law Jeannine Cacioppe Vradenburg of Chicago IL; grandchildren Harrison Sheresky, Skyler Sheresky, May Vradenburg and Gavin Vradenburg; and her brother Rabbi Michael Lerner and sister-in-law Cat Zavis of Berkeley, CA. She was preceded in death by her father, Judge Joseph H. Lerner, and mother, Bea Lerner.
Private family funeral services will take place later this week in Los Angeles, followed by a public memorial service in Washington, D.C., on May 9 at a venue to be determined. Family and friends will be honoring Trish’s legacy; details will be shared as they become available.
UsAgainstAlzheimer's is an innovative, patient-centered non-profit demanding – and delivering – a solution to Alzheimer’s. Driven by the suffering of millions of families, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s presses for greater urgency from government, industry and the scientific community in the quest for an Alzheimer's cure – accomplishing this through its own patient-centered effective leadership, collaborative advocacy and strategic investments.
Founded in 2010, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has worked across sectors to: (1) secure the national goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025; (2) help secure nearly $1 billion in additional public funding for Alzheimer’s research over the past few years; (3) drive global efforts that resulted in the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations, the G7 group, to embrace a similar 2025 goal and to call for greater levels of research investment and collaboration; (4) transform the system of Alzheimer’s clinical trials for greater speed, efficiency and quality; and (5) forge a global process of industry, regulators and payers to bring greater clarity to the approval and payment of innovative medicines for Alzheimer’s.