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Longview car show benefits Alzheimer's research

07/17/2016 10:43 AM | Anonymous

Automotive fans of all ages clamour to get a closer look at Dr. Scott Leiberman's bright red Lamborghini at Saturday's, July 16 Drive to Remember Car Show at  the Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center. (Les Hassel/News-Journal Photo)

Betty Atkerson had no idea that the car show she and family members enjoyed Saturday benefited research to fight Alzheimer's disease, an illness that killed her father and her mother-in-law several years ago.

"I'm glad they're having it," Atkerson said. "They need to do it every other week."

Atkerson and her husband joined her brother- and sister-in-law from their Lake Murvaul homes to come to Maude Cobb Activity and Convention Center in Longview for the Drive to Remember Car Show.

The show was organized by Cameron Williams, whose father, David Williams, is battling the disease. Proceeds from ticket sales and other promotions benefited Alzehimer's disease research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, he said.

"There's so many unknowns with this disease, especially with clarifying what's the cause, and what's the treatment program we can use for this to delay the further onset of this progression," Williams said.

"There's a lot of unknowns, and that's why it's necessary to do more research and have new breakthroughs. That way, we can have better treatment programs and hopefully one day have an actual cure or something that can drastically delay the disease, or prevent it."

Hundreds of East Texans arrived to check out more than 70 restored Ferraris, Corvettes, muscle and racing cars and trucks at the show Williams said took about eight months to organize.

He decided to use car shows as his charity's fundraiser because of their popularity in East Texas and because cars were a hobby Williams shared with his father.

He runs Drive to Remember with the help of two board members, his mother, Sherita Williams, and Cammy Camp.

"I think it's really cool how Cameron went back to what his dad did when he was a kid and used it to help his dad now as he's struggling," said friend Addison Smith. She and her mother, Terri Smith, said they've had more than five family members suffer from Alzheimer's.

"It traps you in your own body. It's like your body isn't deteriorating at first, but your mind is, and so you're looking at yourself in the mirror and you don't know yourself anymore, and you don't know your loved ones, and so it's a very crippling disease, but of the mind and not of the body at first," Terri Smith said.

About 15 local businesses sponsored Saturday's car show.

Reprint from Longview News Journal
By Jimmy Daniell Isaac jisaac@news-journal.com Reporter

DriveToRemember is a 501(c) non-profit organization | P.O. Box 5924, Longview, TX 75608 | (903) 445-9921