Monday, November 28, 2011

Pat Summitt announces foundation to help Alzheimer's disease research

Dottie Lowe said Sunday would be one Lady Vols game she didn't want to miss. No, not because her team was against #1 ranked Baylor.

"Everyone wants to get in on this," she said. Instead, she wanted simply to "Back Pat." In fact, her orange "We Back Pat" shirt proved it.

In fact, those shirts were worn by thousands of UT fans. In turn, those shirts raised thousands of dollars for the newly formed "Pat Summitt Foundation Fund." It made its debut Sunday at the game.

"What's happening today is inspiring," said Angela Geiger with the Alzheimer's Association. "To see this many people coming together for their coach, their cause and her bravery coming out against her diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease."

Lady Vols Head Coach Pat Summitt was diagnosed of early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type in August. Her namesake fund gives grants to organizations connected to Alzheimer's Disease and research.

Alzheimer's Tennessee and the UT Medical Center are the first two beneficiaries of the foundation- each receiving $75,000 each Sunday.

The organization has been getting support by many fans. Even, Governor Bill Haslam was on the sidelines to see the foundation's kickoff.

"Who Pat is makes it easy to support her and understand how serious this early Dementia is. If it could happen to Pat, it could happen to anybody," the Governor said.

Organizers feel the fund is off on the right foot with the big check presentation.

"I think there will be lots of big things ahead," Geiger said.

As fans, like Dottie Lowe, continue to "Back Pat."

"It's something we're already dealing with," Lowe said. "But any little thing that we can do to help them find out and cure this is going to be wonderful."

For more information on the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund, visit the organization's website.

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