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The support isn’t just limited to wearing orange. People have sent letters to Summitt and changed their Facebook profile photos to that of an orange ribbon. Larry Weinberg, a Tennessee-Martin and UT-Memphis alumnus, said he and some fellow fans signed a Lady Vols flag that was to be delivered to Summitt on Friday.

Weinberg, a pharmacist for Kroger in Memphis, also paid a $5 “fine” _ a donation to charity _ for permission to wear his Tennessee polo shirt to work. It wasn’t necessary as his boss was in full support.

“She gave permission for anyone in the store to wear orange,” said Weinberg, 65. “She said she was going to have some orange ribbons cut up and available. She’s not a UT fan, but she’s a Pat Summitt fan.”

Jennifer Langston, a communications consultant from Morrisville, N.C., said the orange shirt, Lady Vols pin, orange sandals she was wearing and orange purse she was carrying was a typical outfit for her. Even her Jeep is orange.

“I found out about the diagnosis over Twitter while sitting in the Philadelphia airport on my way back from a business trip. I was instantly brought to tears,” said Langston, 39. “When I got back to Raleigh and started reading the coverage, people’s reactions, it was clear to me that I wasn’t alone. I still can’t explain it, exactly, the sense of community and closeness that’s she’s built with the fan base.

“So I am wearing orange today to try to connect with that community, even though no one in Raleigh will know it,” she said.

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Follow Beth Rucker on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bethrucker