Former UT football player A.J. Johnson auctions cleats for Alzheimer's Association

All proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer's Association's Tennessee Chapter. / (Alzheimer's Association)
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Former Tennessee player A.J. Johnson announced he will auction off a pair of game-worn cleats with all proceeds benefitting the Alzheimer's Association's Tennessee Chapter.

The current Denver Broncos linebacker is still very much connected to his former home in Knoxville. Johnson said the Alzheimer's Association's cause is deeply personal. In 2018, Johnson lost his grandmother, Lezora Hall, to the disease. He said her legacy has inspired him to give back to others.

"Before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she was a leader in the community," Johnson said o. "She was known for starting one of the first Cub Scout chapters in Georgia, and she used to feed the homeless in our neighborhood."

The auction will run from Feb. 18 to 26. The auction for Johnson's purple, game-worn cleats is open to the public on cheifbeast.com.

Johnson said he hopes openly sharing his family's journey with Alzheimer's will allow other families to feel more comfortable reaching out for information and support.

"When a family member is dealing with this disease, you have to stay strong and continue loving them," Johnson said. "It's so hard on caregivers to care for them day in and day out, but continuing to show them love is key."

The proceeds raised from the auction will help the Alzheimer's Association fund critical support services, educational programming and research for a cure.

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