Car show raises awareness for Huntington's disease

Car show raises awareness for Huntington's disease

LAWTON, Okla._The Huntington’s Disease Society of America Southwest Oklahoma affiliate hosted its 5th annual Care to Cure car show out at the Lawton Fair Grounds Saturday. Event organizers projected about 200 cars of all makes and models to be out at the event.

When you think of tricked out cars, you probably think of street races or possibly auctions. The first thing is probably not Huntington’s disease, but Kathy Timberlake and the members of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America Southwest Oklahoma Affiliate is trying to change that, by reaching and educating a wide demographic.

"You may be rich, you may have a lot of money, or you may have no money,” Timberlake said. “You might be a doctor, lawyer, mechanic or a nurse. We're thinking, everybody loves cars, too."

They are using this car show to have fun, but also raise community awareness about the disease. In simplest terms, Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder that develops over time, and usually causes a breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It's also something that is near and dear to Timberlake’s heart.

"My first husband had Huntington’s disease, he did not know it was in his family,” Timberlake said. “When we got married, we had three children. All of them had a 50/50 chance."

That's why Timberlake decided to get involved.

Car owners are out here vying for the traditional awards, such as best in show, best sound and even best model by decade. There is also an award that is a little more special. The Bradley James Begley memorial award.

It's in honor of Timberlake’s oldest son, Bradley, who was diagnosed with Huntington’s, later succumbing to the disease, the same as his father. Timberlake says every time she thinks about dropping the event, she thinks of how Huntington’s disease has impacted her family, and knows it's impacting others.

"When we do these, we're like, 'oh we're tired, we're worn out, we'll never do this again,' Timberlake said. “Absolutely every event someone with Huntington’s in their family comes up and tells us that they are so glad to find somebody that knows about it. We're like, we can do this again. We can do this again."

There is a Huntington’s disease support group that meets at 7 on the first Tuesday of every month at the Westminster Presbyterian Church on Gore Blvd. Timberlake says anyone with questions or knows someone with the disease is welcome to attend.