David Hyde Pierce: I see hope in Pat Summitt
(CBS News) In the wake of Pat Summitt's announcement that she's stepping down as the University of Tennessee's head women's basketball coach, Alzheimer's research advocate and actor David Hyde Pierce said her situation shows how far we've come with the disease.
Summitt was diagnosed less than a year ago with early onset dementia.
"One of the great things about Pat (is) that she was diagnosed - I mean, she has early onset, which is really tough," Pierce said. "But they were able to diagnose this at a point in the disease where she still has her faculties. She and her family can face this, which they're doing so bravely with such amazing humor and love. And that, to me, is an incredibly positive sign."
(Watch Dean Reynolds' full report on Patt Summitt's announcement in the video below.)
Pierce, of "Frasier" fame, continued, "As sad as we are all are this is happening to her, I only look at her and see hope."
Pierce's father and his grandfather suffered from the disease. Pierce said no one knew anything about it when his father was diagnosed.
"We didn't talk about it," Pierce said. "There was a stigma. In many parts of this country there still is. When somebody like Pat steps forward, as she does in coaching the basketball, this is the opponent, we're going to face them head on. That's what families need to do. That's what the country needs to do. I find that very encouraging."
For more with Pierce, including what he's doing to further Alzheimer's research with the Alzheimer's Association, his thoughts on the disease and more, watch the video in the player above.
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