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Damien and I are thrilled to be running for the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter. As most of you know, Pat Summitt, my coach at the University of Tennessee and dear friend, announced earlier this summer that she had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

So many of us have felt that paralyzing feeling I felt that day. When someone you know and love tells you something is wrong. You want to spring into action. You want to do something and you want to do it immediately. But what can you do?

When Pat made her announcement the first thing I wanted to do was book a flight to Knoxville and be by her side. I’m not sure if that was for my own selfish desires to be with her or my belief that there’s strength in numbers. Some how I believed if I was with her it’d be better. The WNBA season was in full swing so a trip to Knoxville wasn’t in the cards but I promised myself as soon as the season was over I’d figure out a way to honor my coach.

When Damien was approached about running in the New York City Marathon we knew this was the opportunity we were looking for. What better way to honor Pat Summitt then by doing something so fiercely competitive and challenging. We are thrilled by the support we’ve gotten so far as we prepare for these two races. We appreciate every donation that comes our way and promise we will be competing with a spirit that would make Coach Summitt proud.

Remember, every donation over $25 is eligible for one of our many giveaways. We have everything from tickets to see a 2012 Connecticut Sun game, Optimum Nutrition supplement prize backs, to autographed basketballs, shoes, and jerseys. Check my Facebook Fan Page (www.facebook.com/karalawsonbarling) daily for updates on prizes and winners.

“They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
– Pat Summitt