Even in passing Royal works to fund Alzheimer's, dementia research

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by MELISSA MAHADEO / KVUE News and photojournalist ROBERT MCMURREY

kvue.com

Posted on November 7, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 7 at 6:20 PM

AUSTIN -- After three national championships and 11 Southwest Conference titles, there is little doubt Darrell Royal was a Longhorn legend, but his greatest opponent came in his later years after Royal was diagnosed with dementia.

In February, the former University of Texas football coach and his wife Edith visited the Capitol to announce the Darrell K Royal fund for Alzheimer’s research. Even then he spoke highly of Austin.

"I feel like, that I’m home when I visit Austin, Texas," Royal said.

At the Capitol, Edith Royal spoke candidly about the difficulties dealing with everyday matters without her best friend helping her through them, but she said circumstances were worse for thousands of Americans battling Alzheimer’s and dementia without a support system.

“We're lucky enough to live in a place that has all of that, but that's not available to most people. That's what I’d like to really bring the attention to -- that it just needs more research and more understanding," Edith Royal said at the State Capitol in February.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, a new person develops Alzheimer’s every 69 seconds, and it claims the lives of about 80,000 Americans every year. Right now, there is no cure.

It's a battle Royal hoped will one day be won, even if he won't lead the victory.

This weekend, personal memorabilia from Royal's collection will be auctioned off in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research. Items include signed footballs, UT championship rings, and among other things, a Texas flag that was carried to the moon in 1972 and signed by the astronauts on the Apollo 16 mission.

Austin Auction Gallery will host the auction on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at 8414 Anderson Mill Road, Austin, TX, 78729. If you cannot attend the auction, absentee and telephone bidding are available with a 15 percent buyer’s premium. Live online and absentee bidding is also available via Live Auctioneers, www.liveauctioneers.com with an 18 percent buyer’s premium. 

For more information on any lot in the auction please visit www.AustinAuction.com (items start on page five) or contact the gallery directly at 512-258-5479. Ross Featherston, #8069.

A portion of the proceeds from both collections will be donated to the DKR Alzheimer’s Research Fund.

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