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After hard year, family will look back at lost son

After hard year, family will look back at lost son

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In the past year, Paul and Shelley Freeman lost their son, launched a movement, appeared on TV, inspired a classroom, motivated strangers, spoke to crowds and traveled, again and again, to a Kansas courtroom.

It all can seem so unreal. A blur.

"We have no sense of time," Paul Freeman said Tuesday. "It's been a year since he died and sometimes it seems like yesterday -- you still say, 'I cannot believe it's true' -- and sometimes it seems like it's been a while."

On Wednesday, family and friends will spend a somber hour remembering Cameron Freeman, who was 21 when a drunken driver killed him on a Kansas highway Nov. 23, 2010.

His three friends were injured, one seriously. The driver of the other car -- driving drunk in a stolen pickup -- was sentenced last month to six years in prison.

The Lincoln East High School grad's death prompted his parents to start the Cameron Effect, a day set aside to commit seven acts of kindness in their son's name.

Hundreds participated last year, in Lincoln and around the world. And his family will use Wednesday's gathering -- 7 p.m. at Auld Pavilion in Antelope Park -- in part to prepare for this year's event, Dec. 7.

But mostly it's a tribute to their son. Cameron's friends will read some of his poems. Others will perform music. People will share memories. They'll light luminaries.

After the past year, his parents aren't sure what to expect Wednesday night.

"We could have 50 people, we could have 500. We don't know," Paul Freeman said. "It's a tough time. We're kind of excited and a little nervous."

Reach Peter Salter at 402-473-7254 or


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