NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- WNBA All-Star, ESPN Analyst, and Tennessee Academic All American Kara Lawson announced a major campaign to raise awareness and money to fight Alzheimer's disease in honor of legendary Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt who disclosed in August that she has younger-onset Alzheimer's.
Lawson, a guard with the WNBA's Connecticut Sun, and her husband, Damien Barling, have joined forces with the New York City Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association in the effort. Lawson and Barling will participate as members of the Chapter's Run 2 Remember (Team R2R) in the ING NYC Marathon weekend taking place November 5 and 6, 2011. Team R2R is managed by the Alzheimer's Association, NYC Chapter Junior Committee which, over the past three years, has raised more than $700,000.
Coach Summitt shocked the sports world in August 2011 when she announced that she had been diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer's disease, a form of the disease that accounts for up to 10 percent of Alzheimer's cases, affecting people under the age of 65 - some in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
Lawson said, "Coach Summitt has been an influential part of my life and remains so today. Participating in the NYC Marathon weekend, along with my husband Damien, allows us to do our part in helping raise awareness and money for research for the Alzheimer's Association. Knowing how strong the women's basketball community is, we feel confident in the support we will garner. We want to impact this disease with our Coach in our hearts and minds!"
Coach Summitt said, "I am humbled that Kara and Damien will be participating in the New York City Marathon in my honor. Both are fierce competitors, but more importantly, they are incredible people. I wish each of them well and will be pulling for them to achieve their personal best."
More than 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's today. More than 250,000 people in NYC have Alzheimer's and most are cared for at home by family members and loved ones.
To contribute to Lawson's effort go to www.alznyc.org/karalawson
SOURCE Alzheimer's Association, New York City Chapter