Community rallies around Iowa guard member with rare form of can - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Community rallies around Iowa guard member with rare form of cancer

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An Eastern Iowa guard member, who is fighting a rare form of stage four live cancer, has an entire community rallying behind him. 

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

On the day of deployment, Laue wasn't able to join his brothers. Instead, he sat in the crowd, fighting a different kind of battle. 

His drill sergeant Dan Wegner came up with the idea to throw a benefit to support Laue and his family. The idea quickly became a reality, and on Saturday night, hundreds showed up in support for Tristin Laue's benefit called "Jam for the Fam." Eleven bands volunteered to perform at the benefit. 

 "All these bands just wanted to volunteer,' said Wegner. "I mean initially we were going to do a two band concert. And that just showed the support that family has of deep friends and extended family."

'Last Call' band member Jason Kayser was overwhelmed by the packed house that turned out Saturday night. 

"The crowd is amazing," said Kayser. "It's heartwarming out here to see the support for this family. You know he went to serve his country and right in the middle of his basic training-this happened. That's the real tragic part and I think that says a lot about him."

One of the bands is a little more personal for Tristin. His father, Mitch Laue, plays in 'Bar Flyz,' who will take the stage at 11 p.m. to close out the night. Fellow band member Ryon Kilcher says music has always been there for Tristin. 

"He used to come to a lot of our shows," said Kilcher. "He used to run the lights when he was a little kid. Mitch would make him run the lights for the shows."

Just like the music, the constant in his life-the love and support of those who know him was in full force Saturday night. 

Tristin's sister, Madison Stoffregen says despite his ups and downs, his strength and resilience is unmatched. 

"He is one of the strongest people I know," said Stoffregen. "I don't know how he goes through it, but he does. And he puts on a strong fight every day. And his highs and lows are very drastic-there's a big difference between the two. But no matter what day it is, he's always good, he's always up and he's going. And he's very positive. There's not really ever a negative day where he's talking about anything bad really. He's always really positive. So seeing that is really nice, to know he's happy."

The benefit will last until midnight at the Centre Hall in Waverly.

To make a donation to support Tristin and his family with their medical expenses, visit his Cancer Fund

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