KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WPVI) --Pat Summitt's legacy goes far beyond basketball.
The Alzheimer's Association says Summitt was a trailblazer off the court, for sharing her diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
She became a strong advocate for education, research, and support for patients and caregivers.
PHOTOS: Remembering Pat Summitt
Although she stopped coaching in 2011, keeping Alzheimer's in the public eye cheered others struggling with it.
"It makes you feel you're not alone, and that it doesn't matter your economic status, your demographics, your gender, your age, your race, everyone with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer's disease," Linda Barba of the Association's Delaware Valley chapter said.
Barba says early-onset patients like Summitt tend to decline faster, though doctors don't yet know why.
But with the efforts of other celebrity patients like singer Glenn Campbell and chef and food maven B-Smith, the answers are a little closer.