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Local elementary school raises money for teacher battling brain cancer

BETTENDORF-- When 5th grade teacher Lydia Gatton was recently diagnosed with brain cancer her community showed her nothing but support.

"They have all been amazing from the start. Very supportive. I actually had a seizure at school so that was kind of a shock to everyone. Since then I've been working half days but everyone has been here to help me in my classroom," says Gatton.

To help her pay for her treatments, Hopewell students and staff decided to have a 5k run.

"She's really active, runs a lot and takes really good care of herself. So when she started her treatment we thought, what's a good way we can help her out? And so we decided that a 5K  would be a really good way to get the community involved," says Brown.

Hopewell teacher Abby Brown says around 150 people signed up for the race to come support Gatton.

Gatton says one of the hardest parts of receiving her diagnosis was breaking the news to her students.

"That was my main concern...kids are resilient so they've been fantastic,"says Gatton

Sixth grader Hayden Evans says Gatton was her 5th grade teacher last year and during her time in class would always encourage her to do her best work.

"We all support her, most of us [at the race] were in her class. Even if we weren't we still want to show our support," says Evans

When Gatton crossed the finish line of the 5k Evans handed her a bouquet of flowers.

"I'm just so blessed to have her as my teacher," says Evans.

The community was able to  raised $5,000 dollars from the run alone and all of the proceeds will go to Gatton and her family to help with treatments.

""It's made it so much easier for us to not worry about the financial aspect of it. Very very thankful to everyone," says Gatton.