June car show honors, helps transplant recipients

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A vehicle show and fundraiser on Saturday honored the memory of Daniel Brooks, a double-lung recipient from Arlington who died in February 2013. It also raised $500 for selected transplant recipients.

Organizers estimated that 140 people showed to view the 16 vehicles on display. The event, now in its fifth year, was the Antique Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show & Fundraiser.

Activities also included entertainment by DJSIXTY4 and games for children.

Family members participating in the event included Kim Brooks, Daniel’s mother; Kimmora Brooks, his 10 year-old sister; Jimmy Brooks, his 8year-old brother; Clyde and Beatrice Brooks, his grandparents; Tonya Gordon, his maternal aunt; and Clyde Brooks Jr., his maternal uncle.

2015 Winners

This year’s winners include:

  • Show Car/Truck, first place: Dwayne Mitchell, 2010 Dodge Challenger RT
  • Show Car/Truck, second place: Donzell Bradley, 1997 Chevy
  • Show Car/Truck, third place: Earnest Morris, 2001 Ford 350
  • Antique Truck, first place: Robert Cole, 1958 Ford pickup
  • Antique Truck, second place: Clarence Cash, 1956 GMC
  • Antique Car, first place: Vernon Watson, 1967 Camaro
  • Antique Car, second place: Nathaniel Lynn, 1966 Mustang
  • Antique Car, third place: Abe Dixon, 1950 Pontiac

Daniel Brooks

Daniel Brooks
Daniel Brooks

The honoree was three when he had surgery to correct an intestinal problem. His lungs never healed well from the damage. Doctors first suggested a double-lung transplant when he was 10.

He was often sick and was homeschooled for most of his education, but Brooks was able to walk with his class and receive his diploma when he graduated from Bartlett High School in 2007.

By age 19, he wanted the transplant and a chance at a more normal life. He had tried attending college but was too sick to continue.

He went on the organ donation waiting list in August 2010. He had the surgery in October that year.

Breathing normally afterwards was an adjustment after years with lung problems.

His mother, Kim Brooks, said, “My son was like a brand-new person. He could do things he couldn’t do before, like playing basketball and going to the mall.”

Before the surgery, he couldn’t walk more than a few feet before having to rest. Afterward, he marveled at his energy and told his mother, “Mom – I’m walking through the whole mall!”

His family and friends remember him as a fun-loving and well-liked young man. He loved to play video games and cook. He wanted to attend culinary school and become a chef.

He flourished for a couple of years but in 2012 fell ill with a series of infections, followed by chest pains and then failing kidneys. He died on Feb. 8, 2013.

His mother spoke briefly about why the annual show and fundraiser event is so important to her.

“We continue to honor Daniel’s legacy and have this fundraiser to help a couple of organ transplant recipient families who are struggling to raise money after insurance has paid what they will. There are a lot of medications, doctor visits, and travel expenses. I wanted to help other patients. I know first-hand how hard it is pay all of the bills.”

She added, “Donation and transplantation is a wonderful thing. If it weren’t for someone doing that, I would not have had those three extra years with my son, Daniel. I hope his story will encourage everyone to register on the Organ & Tissue Donor Registry. It’s as simple as clicking yes when you get or renew your driver’s license.”

There are currently more than 123,054 individuals on the national waiting list for an organ transplant. An estimated 18 people will die every day waiting for a transplant.

The Mid-South Transplant Foundation is the not-for-profit, federally designated Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) serving the 150-mile radius that surrounds the Memphis area, including parts of western Tennessee, northern Mississippi and eastern Arkansas. For more information or to register as an organ donor, visit www.midsouthtransplant.org.