MUSTANG, Okla. – When you think of a classroom, you probably imagine students being inspired by a great teacher.
However, a group of Oklahoma students have decided to turn the tables and inspire a teacher during his time of need.
Marshall Lauen, a science teacher at Mustang North Middle School, went to the doctor after experiencing constant chest pain.
He thought it was something simple like bronchitis but was shocked when he was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in May of 2013.
Doctors discovered a softball size tumor pressing against his heart and lung.
While devastating for anyone, co-workers say the diagnosis couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Lauen, who was only 31-years-old at the time, is also a newlywed and a new homeowner.
Shortly after buying his home, the property flooded, leaving the house un-inhabitable and in need of repairs.
Despite the hardships, Lauen is staying positive while undergoing treatment for the disease.
After learning about his circumstances, students and teachers at the middle school came together to create a unique way to keep their teacher’s spirits up.
The kids created a YouTube video, expressing their gratitude for how he has touched their lives and spreading a bit of encouragement.
In one part of the video, the students write, “You’ve already proven how great you are and we have all witnessed. We are all strong because of you.”
In addition to offering words of hope, the video is also serving as a fundraising tool.
Fellow teachers say they wanted to help Lauen in any way they could by creating a pair of fundraisers to help with medical expenses.
Lauen has insurance but is still forced to cover deductibles and expenses incurred from heading to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for treatment.
So far, the fundraiser has garnished $270, which is just a fraction of their goal.
Plus, they are selling a t-shirt to also raise funds.