by Danielle Wagner
WATERLOO (KWWL) Family, friends and students met for food, music and an auction at the National Cattle Congress grounds in Waterloo. All to give back to Mark Strassburg.
Strassburg was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma two years ago.
"It's a blood disorder. It's not curable. It's treatable. Something they hope to keep him in remission for an extended period of time," said Niki Strassburg.
Wife Niki Strassburg said chemotherapy worked well, but for long-term remission doctors suggested a stem cell transplant. Mark had that done in Iowa City in November of last year. The goal is to keep him in remission for five to ten years.
"He's great. He's optimistic. He's just been awesome," said Niki Strassburg.
All the money raised at the benefit goes to the Strassburg family. Due to treatments. Mark hasn't been able to work. He's a sixth grade teacher at Cedar Heights School in Cedar Falls.
"They help everybody else out. They're always there for everybody. Mark is a teacher. He gives his life to help children, be a role model for children. I think we all felt we somehow needed to give back," said family friend Tiffany Guetzlaff.
Mark Strassburg said it's been hard being out of the classroom.
"Miserable because I love what I do. This group of kids is awesome, and I really miss interacting with them and teaching them daily," he said.
"He tells jokes everyday and makes us laugh. We just miss him a lot," said student Joseph Wielinski.
Wielinski even donated his first guitar to the silent auction to raise money for his teacher.
"He loves those kids. He loves them," said Niki Strassburg.
Niki and Mark Strassburg said the support from everyone is incredible, and hopefully Mark will be back teaching soon.
If you'd like to donate to the Strassburg family, there's a fund set up for "Team Strassburg" at the Cedar Falls Community Credit Union.
Reporter: Danielle Wagner