I was stunned last year when Pat Summitt announced she was suffering from Alzheimer’s.  A strong, independent woman.  Charismatic.  Role model for others. My mom shared these same traits, and I think that makes it even harder to imagine her, like Coach Summitt, falling prey to the disease.   I’ve said so many times over the years that my mom was the LAST person I would have ever expected to suffer its wrath, and I felt the same about Pat Summitt.

Well, today, just eight months after the announcement, at age 59, Pat Summitt told the world she is stepping down as head coach.  On a positive note, the winningest coach in college basketball history – male or female – will assume the title of “head coach emeritus.”  While she will no longer actively coach the team, it sounds like she will continue to be very much a part of the program for as long as the disease allows.

My mom always loved watching women’s basketball and had great respect for Coach Summitt.  Who would have imagined that the two would end up having so much in common?  Pat Summitt – and my mom – remind us that Alzheimer’s can strike anyone, regardless of age, gender, status, or strength of character.  It knows no bounds, and  does not discriminate, which makes is so terribly imperative that a cure is found…

To read more about today’s announcement, follow this link and if you would like to contribute to this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s or join Marilyn’s Mighty Memory Makers, visit our team site.

… Until next time… Carpe diem…

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