Students at Mustang North Middle School are proving just a few words of support can make a huge difference.
Eighth grade science teacher Marshall Lauen had to leave halfway through the school year for treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. His students wanted to make sure Lauen knew they were thinking of him.
More than 100 of them helped put together a video project and sent it to him.
"A horrible thing to have cancer and it just broke my heart, because he's such a nice person," said eighth grader Andrea Salguero.
Lauen was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Last year, he continued teaching while undergoing six months of chemotherapy for the softball-size tumor in his chest. He and his wife, Ashley, went to Houston for radiation and the cancer came back, leading to more chemo and a stem cell transplant.
Lauen saw the video at his sickest moment.
"The video came at a perfect time and if you wanted to get me to rally at a low point, you definitely did a wonderful job. You guys praying for me and loving me from a distance has given me tons of strength," Lauen said via Skype interview from Texas.
Fellow teacher Jason Page came up with the idea of using the spoken word to send love to Lauen.
"Sometimes ‘Get Well' just isn't enough and I was like, ‘Well, the best thing you can do especially with your words is support,'" said Page, an English teacher.
Page asked the students questions like, "If you could see cancer, what would it look like? What would you do to it? What would you tell Mr. Lauen?"
Every kid threw out adjectives or phrases and the video was the result. Lauen said he loves the "fighter" reference.
"There is nothing you should terrified of if you have faith in Christ, so it's kind of been one of those things where all the words kind of meant a little something different," Lauen said.
"We could all say he's made a big impact on our lives and we've made a big impact on his," said eigth grader Tyson Patraw.
Lauen said the cancer is now dead and all that is left is a month of radiation.
Mustang North Middle School and the community of Mustang are fundraising for Lauen and his wife to help pay for deductibles, travel expenses, lodging, repairs to their home after damaging floods while they were away and much more.