Benefit for Iowa Guard member with rare form of stage four liver - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Benefit for Iowa Guard member with rare form of stage four liver cancer

Posted: Updated:

A unit of the Iowa National Guard currently deployed overseas has to carry out its mission without a dedicated soldier who had to stay behind to fight a different kind of battle. 

Tristin Laue of Waverly has a rare form of stage four liver cancer, fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. He was diagnosed when he was fresh out of basic training at 18-years-old.

Tristin says he's proud to be a part of the Guard because it makes him feel like he's part of something bigger than himself and that has really proven to be true over the past few months.

"The Guard gives me a sense of purpose and fulfillment," Tristin says.

One year ago this week, his father and stepmother were getting on a plane to see him graduate from basic training.

His stepmother Debbie Nichols said, "He was beaming with pride when we got there."

Months later on the day of deployment, instead of standing with his unit, Tristin was in the crowd. It was an emotional day for him and his family.

Debbie saying, "On one hand, it would have been very hard to see him go but on the other hand this is probably harder, definitely harder, to see him go through."

Tristin has another round of chemo in Minnesota next week.

"It's just one day at a time, you don't think about next week or next think about today and right now," he says.

Just as he was there for his unit on the day of deployment, the Guard has had his back; his Drill Sergeant Dan Wegner even putting together a benefit this weekend with more than 10 local bands performing including Tristin's father. 

Tristin's father Mitch Laue says, "With the band and that I get to meet a lot of people in all different towns and to see them go back and treat me like a friend, that's a good feeling."

It's a day Tristin is also looking forward to.

"I just can't wait to see how many people are there," he says.

The benefit called "Jam for the Fam" will be held in Waverly this Saturday from 11 a.m. until midnight. For more information or to make a donation email

For tickets go to:

Powered by Frankly