Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sum it Up - Pat Summit

Like many people, I have a fear of dementia.  As a result, I am drawn to books about people living with dementia, caring for those who have dementia, and any type of neuropsychological study aimed at preventing it.  I previously reviewed two fiction books featuring main characters suffering from dementia, Still Alice and Turn of Mind.  Yet, I was reluctant to read Pat Summit's memoir - perhaps not really wanting to a real non-fiction account of one facing dementia, especially a woman so known for her strength.

To be fair, this is not a book about living with dementia.  It is a book about a truly extraordinary woman making a name for herself in what was once perceived as a man's world.  She is a woman who worked hard no matter what and made incredible sacrifices on and off the court.  There is a lot of basketball in this book - and I think a reader who loves the game will take more from what Summitt has to say, but clearly the book has a more universal appeal.  Pat Summit is amazing.  That she has now gone public with her diagnosis is just one brave act in her lifetime of brave acts, and I hope that as she becomes one of the many faces of early-onset Alzheimer's she will help others see the need we have for more research in this area, and help people understand the true courage of those living with the disease, as well as those caring for them.

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