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Lafayette man dying of lung cancer surprised with antique car parade

Friends and family are celebrating a Lafayette man diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

Posted: May 2, 2020 10:23 PM
Updated: May 2, 2020 11:40 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — One Lafayette man dying of lung-cancer got quite the surprise Saturday afternoon. Nearly 100 friends and family members came together to throw 77-year-old Dennis Clark an antique car parade. They drove through the neighborhood waving and cheering as they passed Clark's home.

"I think he's going to be very surprised it'll be great," said Dennis's niece Sheri Clark-Ludlow.

By the looks of his reaction, surprised is right. Dennis's niece is one of the organizers for her uncle's car parade. She said he had a love of collecting sports and antique cars. Now that we're in a pandemic, Clark-Ludlow said this is the best way to honor her uncle while still practicing social distancing.

"It's his passion — people and antiques, and having meaning behind what he does and how he feels and that's why we all come together for him," said Clark-Ludlow.

Dennis was diagnosed with a terminal lung-cancer before the COVID-19 pandemic. Since home visits and in-person contact has become limited, lead organizer and close friend Don Vandame said this is one way to remind Dennis he's got a community full of support.

"Denny has been a dear friend to us and we're just trying to give back a little bit and let him know how much we love him," said Vandame.

Nearly 100 people came out to support Dennis's car parade. Close friend, Rusty Hart said this outpour of people shows the kind of impact Dennis holds.

"Thrilled to see all these people show up to bring their cars and do a little parade past his house, hopefully, it lifts his spirits a little bit," said Hart. "That's what it's all about. I think it's really going to put a smile on his face and right now that's what we all need but especially Dennis."

Dennis Clark has deep roots in Lafayette. He served as the President of Lafayette Glass Company since 1972.

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