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The Lasting Legacy of Pat Summitt

By: Dallas Bowlin, Senior Staff Writer, Junior Editor

When legendary former Tennessee Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt passed away in 2016 following a battle with Alzheimer's disease, she left behind a legacy of great success. Under her leadership, the Lady Vols won eight national championships, 16 SEC Tournament championships, and 16 SEC regular-season championships.

Though her on-court legacy will live forever, her off-court legacy still affects the lives of many today.

When Coach Summitt first announced her diagnosis in 2011, she did so with her unique attitude. "This ain’t gonna be no pity party," she said " I will continue coaching as long as the good lord lets me." she continued.

In 2011, Pat and her son, Tyler, founded "The Pat Summitt Foundation" to help advance Alzheimer’s research for treatment and hopefully someday find a cure. The Foundation provides care and support for patients and caregivers and educates the public on the facts of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

The East Tennessee Foundation receives and manages donations to the Summitt Foundation and awards grants supporting its mission. Upon its launch, the first four grants were awarded to:

*Three Vanderbilt University faculty members were asked to write and publish "How to Evaluate the Quality of Residental Care for Persons with Dementia." a guide geared towards the families of those suffering.

*The Cole Neuroscience Center at the University of Tennessee Medical Center allows patients to receive treatment that may not be covered by traditional health insurance.

*The Family Caregiver Alliance for the creation of short films to teach patients and loved ones practical methods to improve the lives of those suffering

Alzheimer's Tennessee, Inc., for the purchase of vans to assist caregivers and those diagnosed with the disease in traveling to many facilities.

*Alzheimer's Tennessee, Inc., for the purchase of vans to assist caregivers and those diagnosed with the disease in traveling to many facilities.

Morgan Vance, Director of Advancement for the Pat Summitt Foundation, had this to say about the success so far of the foundation:

"Since our beginning, we’ve granted over $4 million to nonprofits and researchers across the country who are working to fight Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These organizations range from caregiver support to adult day centers, resource centers, therapy dogs, and more, but they all have the common goal of making a positive difference in the lives of patients and


As someone who has lost someone to this terrible disease, I cannot begin to thank the Foundation for its great work and for its continued efforts to find a cure.

If you would like to learn more about the great work the Foundation does, or if you feel inclined to donate, you can visit the Foundation at:

Photo above | WLVT


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