INSPIRATIONAL: Coach Summitt, one tough lady

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/womens-basketball/news?slug=ap-t25-summitt-raisingawareness

Summitt’s diagnosis raises Alzheimer’s awareness

By BETH RUCKER, AP Sports Writer

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Tennessee coach Pat Summitt hopes her public battle with dementia raises awareness about the disease and inspires people to do more.

Kentucky associate head coach Kyra Elzy is one of many whom Summitt has already touched.

After making a New Year’s resolution to do more volunteer work in 2011, when the 59-year-old Summitt made her announcement in August, Elzy saw a perfect opportunity to honor her former coach and her grandmother, who had Alzheimer’s.

Elzy volunteers at Best Friends Day Care in Lexington, Ky., an adult day care for people who require supervision.

“My coach, Coach Summitt, she is very courageous, very strong and a very giving person, so for her to come out in public with the type of platform she brings, everybody takes notice, everybody listens,” Elzy said. “It was so courageous of her to want to help others. She’s a face and a voice that people respect. It’s just breathtaking.”

Summitt, who revealed in August that she’d been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, isn’t the only famous person fighting dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Many public figures who have faced Alzheimer’s, such as former president Ronald Reagan and actor Charlton Heston, were diagnosed late in life and privately faced the disease.

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One can only pray that a cure is found for this disease that robs one of their memories and takes their dignity.

Donna Nobis Pacem

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