May 20, 2011


Debbie Cuevas


Year: 2011

Debbie Cuevas’ name is synonymous with compassion and perseverance. After her son Dylan was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Ms. Cuevas was determined to overcome every obstacle and devote her time and energy to her son and the community at large.

Ms. Cuevas is mother, friend, nurse, caregiver, physical therapist, SMA activist, and much more rolled into one. A true pioneer, Ms. Cuevas founded the Greater New York Chapter of Families of SMA in 2006, as a way to give back to her community. As President of The Greater New York Chapter of Families of SMA, Ms. Cuevas is instrumental in serving over 500 families who have been affected by Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Ms. Cuevas has devoted her time and talents to SMA, in the hope of bringing awareness to this debilitating disease. She has worked tirelessly with various government officials to declare SMA Awareness Days and has hosted a number of fundraising events including an annual Walkathon, SMA Awareness Day with the New York Mets and New York Yankees, and numerous Galas and Golf Outings.

Never one to give up, Ms. Cuevas ­ fights every single day to advocate for Dylan and help keep him alive. Not only does she do this for her family, but she supports others in her area and works closely with the National Board of FSMA as well as other SMA and Disability Organizations to advocate for families.

Ms. Cuevas genuinely exempli­fies the spirit of a Woman of Distinction. According to her husband Ron, she often says that she will never put a price on how much money she has raised or how many hours she has put in helping others. All that matters to her is that people get the help they need.

Ms. Cuevas has made an impact on all the lives she has touched. She was able to turn devastation into hope, give support to those who didn’t have it and provide those affected with SMA a voice when there wasn’t one.