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MEMBER HIGHLIGHT: Pedal For Pat To Raise Awareness about Alzheimer's Disease

Tuesday, March 21, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amanda Wiedenfeld
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Team prepares to ride 1,098 miles in honor of Pat Summitt


As the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history, Pat Summitt inspired countless students and fans as she led the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteer basketball team to 1,098 wins. Diagnosed at age 59 with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, she impacted lives off the court by forming The Pat Summitt Foundation to fund non-profit organizations focused on patient care, caregiver support, and clinical research. After a five year battle with Alzheimer’s, Summitt passed away last year, but her memory lives on through The Pat Summitt Clinic at The University of Tennessee Medical Center, which opened earlier this year. Summitt’s personal story deeply impacted Joshua Crisp, president and founder of TLC Senior Living and partner at Knoxville-based Dominion Senior Living, a faith-based company which owns and operates assisted living and memory care communities throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, and South Carolina. Summitt’s story, along with Crisp’s personal experience with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in his communities, sparked a desire to create something bigger than himself to raise awareness.

Crisp’s vision is becoming a reality through Pedal for Pat, a 1,098-mile cross-country cycling fundraising event in which Crisp and his team, The Summitt Cyclers, will ride an average of 90 to 100 miles each day for 12 days beginning on October 17. The ride will start at the Pat Summitt Plaza on the University of Tennessee campus and end in Key West, Fla. The team and event will be led by Joshua Crisp and supported by a host of volunteers that have already begun to come on board to assist in areas of fundraising, media communications, website, social media, logistics, and support.

“I wanted to challenge myself physically while starting a movement to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s, and the more I thought about it, cycling with a team across the country was the perfect way to accomplish my goals,” said Crisp. “I am not a cyclist, but I am working with a professional race team trainer, modifying my diet and starting by trying to reach 20 hours a week on the bike. I am honored to have the support of my fellow teammates, sponsors and the greater community. In true Pat Summitt fashion, we will come together as team ‘Summitt Cyclers’ to accomplish what may seem like an impossible task. All the while, we will raise funds for Pat’s clinic, and we will make a measurable impact on the lives of families living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. We also hope to educate young and old that research shows that healthy living and exercise could have the potential to prevent the occurrence of Alzheimer’s and slow the progression of the disease.”

Each team member is committed to raising at least $10,000 which will be donated to The Pat Summit Foundation, which designates 100 percent of its grant funding to The Pat Summitt Clinic. Crisp encourages other interested individuals to join or sponsor the team, cheer the team on along the route, as well as sponsor a rider, donate in honor of a loved one or ride with the team for a day. The team is also reaching out to universities and senior living communities along the route to provide lodging for the riders.

“We are deeply moved by this commitment to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s, and we are honored that this event will help us support the many families living with this disease,” said Patrick Wade, executive director of The Pat Summitt Foundation. “Our mission is to make a significant difference in the lives of patients and caregivers and to fund research seeking treatment and a cure for Alzheimer’s disease; events like these make a tremendous difference. We are excited to share the team’s progress on our Facebook page, and we are thrilled that this group will help us shine a light on Alzheimer’s disease across the country.”

The team would like to thank some of the sponsors who are making the event possible, and they include The Bike Zoo, Podium Sports Medicine, Parrott Printing, and Silversphere. For members of the public interested in making a donation or to learn more about Pedal for Pat, they can visit or call 865-524-1223.


Source: Susan Hoover / Amy Jones, The Point Group
Photo: Joshua Crisp training for the Pedal for Pat event

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