Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and his wife Ashley have donated $500,000 to The Pat Summitt Foundation, the group announced on Monday.
Summitt, 60, was the woman's basketball coach at the University of Tennessee from 1974-2012. During her 38 seasons on the sidelines, the Lady Vols won eight national championships and Summitt was named NCAA Coach of the Year seven times as she became the NCAA's all-time leader with 1,098 wins.
Summitt started the foundation in 2011 after being diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. The foundation aims to increase the education and awareness of Alzheimer's, support patients, their families and caregivers and increase research to treat, prevention, cure and eliminate the disease.
Manning, who played his college ball at Tennessee, is an honorary co-chair of the organization.
"I have such great respect and admiration for Coach Summitt as a mentor, coach and friend from my days as a Tennessee Volunteer and throughout my pro career,” Manning said. “I hope my role as Honorary Co-Chair can bring attention to the important mission of defeating Alzheimer’s through research for a cure, support services for patients and caregivers, and building education and awareness.
"Both Ashley and I believe it’s imperative we make our own personal contribution to advance this critical work in addition to serving in a volunteer capacity with the foundation. We are hopeful others will follow Pat’s lead and come to the aid of the more than five and a half million Americans impacted by this disease."
Manning has been actively involved in charitable efforts since entering the NFL in 1998. Manning's Peyback Foundation has worked with disadvantaged children in Louisiana, Tennessee, Indianapolis and Denver. St. Vincent's Children's Hospital in Indianapolis was named after the future Hall of Fame quarterback, who began this offseason by partaking in a USO Tour overseas.
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