Maria Turner is a retired Registered Nurse. Maria has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and is a Board member of Dementia Alliance International (DAI), while still actively involved with Red Cross. She has spent her life taking care of others, and continues to do so. Maria was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia at the age of 48 in 2016. A few months later she was also diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at Duke University Medical Hospital NC. Maria lives in Greenville, South Carolina USA, but is originally from Wales UK. Following her formal diagnosis, she was told that she could not return to her beloved nursing career, but should go home and get her end of life affairs in order.
Maria is determined to make a difference and hosts weekly peer to peer support groups with DAI all over the world and remains a very active participant in the challenges of understanding this debilitating disease. She also co-hosts a weekly Brain health meeting, for members of DAI and interested others. In spite of her younger onset dementia, Maria is living a full and positive life. Maria wants to use her 30 years of nursing experience to help people who may not have as many resources as we who are currently reading this or attending this conference. Her passion is to see a stronger, more inclusive community through outreach to those newly diagnosed. Despite all the challenges she is now navigating through herself, she knows that there are many reasons to plan for and be excited about one’s future even after diagnosis. “If I can walk alongside just one person and prevent them from having to go it alone, I will know that I had a part in breaking down barriers and helping end the stigma of dementia.”