Pat Summitt says she has early onset dementia -- Alzheimer's type -- but isn't going to let that keep her from what she loves doing: coaching women's basketball at the University of Tennessee.
In a heartfelt interview with the Washington Post, the winningest coach in college basketball explained that she had received the diagnosis but that it took her a while to accept it.
Early-onset Alzheimer's can be a difficult diagnosis to face. It sets in well before the age of 65, the Mayo Clinic explains, the typical lower limit for standard Alzheimer's disease, and thus affects people when they're still in their prime, often with elderly parents or young children to care for as well.
The disease, which mostly affects people in their 30s, 40s and 50s, affects about 5% of the total number of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It can be inherited, but researchers are not yet sure what exactly triggers the disease.