Almost one year ago, Lady Vols Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt bravely made her fight with Alzheimer's disease a public one.
By doing so, she has brought more attention to the incurable disease than awareness groups have seen in years.
"It's amazing how much publicity she's brought to the disease. We are so proud of Pat Summit. We back her," said Karen Eidson whose mother died from Alzheimer's five years ago.
East Tennessee hasn't slowed the momentum of the Alzheimer's Awareness campaign that took off when Coach Summitt announced her diagnosis.
"I definitely think Alzheimer's is much more of a household name. It's come a long way in a short period of time," said Kay Watson of Alzheimer's Tennessee.
Sunday night, the Tennessee Smokies baseball team dedicated their game to Alzheimer's Tennessee, a group that works for a cure and supports those affected. Proceeds from a portion of Sunday's ticket sales went to Alzheimer's Tennessee. They also sold "We Back Pat" shirts at the game.
"We've all come for that reason. There's 20 of us here from the Lodge," said Eidson. The Oak Ridge Elk's Lodge has several members who know first hand what the disease can do to their loved ones.
"My mother had Alzheimer's and she died in 2010," said Emily Crass. "I decided to wear purple to honor her."
Alzheimer's Tennessee said there are thousands of families in the state living with the disease. That's why they are trying to reach everyone they can. With Pat Summitt's help, they are making a lot of progress.
"We absolutely need this cause to be in the headlines everyday. If someone like Pat Summitt can make that happen, we hate to see that she has to live with this disease, but she is truly making a positive impact," Watson said.
Watson says as much progress as they are making, there is still a long way to go, with no cure insight for the disease.