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Car show to raise money for woman battling cancer
Once in better health, Williams hopes to become oncology nurse
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Cruise for Life

What: A fundraiser/cruise-in for Tiffany Haley Williams
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3
Where: Napa, 2275 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville
How much: $20 entry donation
Contact: 678-450-8101

Seven years ago, Tiffany Haley Williams was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.

"It was devastating," Williams said. "I was 21. You think you're invincible, and then you find out you're not."

Her father, Tommy Haley, described his daughter as being naturally thin but said she now weighs about 90 pounds.

He compared the experience of watching his daughter face cancer as similar to having to watch her burn.

"As her dad, I'm supposed to be able to fix it, and I can't. My hands are tied," Haley said.

Haley said though he can't heal her, he and her mother are going to "do the best we can do to help with her medical expenses."

To help offset some of those expenses, Automotive Service and Performance and Napa in Gainesville will have a cruise-in car show on Dec. 3.

This is the second year they've had the fundraiser, and they intend to do it every year until she's cured.

The car show is open to all cars, trucks and motorcycles. There will also be several vendors, a silent auction, live music and awards for the best vehicles.

At 2 p.m., Williams plans to drive Santa Claus down Browns Bridge Road in a new, black, convertible Corvette.

"We're trying to make it big," said Peggy Haley, Williams' mother.

Williams and her husband moved back to Murrayville last year after spending nearly eight months in Texas where she received chemotherapy and prepared for a bone marrow transplant. The transplant was canceled after learning they needed to come up with $500,000.

She said she is fortunate enough to have insurance but the costs for the treatments are "outrageous."

A few years ago, she received a bone marrow transplant for $600,000. She continues to have chemotherapy treatments that cost $30,000 each time.

"It's pretty expensive," Williams said.

Williams and her husband, Bryan, have had to move into her parents' basement because they can't afford to live on their own.

Since moving back home, Williams has started taking a new form of chemotherapy called Brentuximab.

She said she is feeling better but the chemotherapy still makes her tired.

Every three weeks she has to drive to Northside Hospital in Atlanta to receive the treatment.

She said the drug is like an antibody, so it attacks the cancer cells and not the tissue surrounding it "so it doesn't make you throw up and all that nonsense."

Williams said she just wants to get better so that she can get on with her life. She wants to have a baby, go back to school and start her career as an oncology nurse.

"I think I could be a benefit to patients because I've been there and done that," Williams said.