Teachers in the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District are raising support for a colleague amid her husband's second cancer diagnosis.
Alan Strahota was recently diagnosed with high-grade spindle cell soft tissue sarcoma.
Eighteen years ago, he was with diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma during his senior year of high school. He entered remission a year later, and was declared cancer free after a decade.
This time, the cancer is considered a secondary cancer caused by his previous radiation treatments.
Sara Strahota, Alan's wife, teaches kindergarten at Hidden Valley Elementary in Savage. She joined the district in 2007 and previously taught at M.W. Savage.
The couple lives in New Market Township with their preschool-aged son, Luca.
On Feb. 10, Sara stepped away from her teaching position to support Alan during his treatment at Mayo Clinic. Her temporary leave extends until March 22, but Sara says she'll likely take an additional leave this spring; Alan is scheduled for surgery on April 13.
Over $10,000 has been collected in GoFundMe donations for the Strahota family.
"We have just been overwhelmed by the support we have received," Sara wrote on Caringbridge. "Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the donations to our Go Fund Me, meals to be delivered, prayers, and words of encouragement. We are beyond humbled to know how many people we have in our corner."
District teachers have found many ways to support the Strahota family in recent weeks.
Schools have organized gift card collections for food and gas, and others have set up meal trains, according to Vista View Elementary teacher Kerianne Loran.
"In an isolating time as a teacher, coming together to support the Strahota family has made our teacher community feel closer than ever," Loran said.
The GoFundMe Page for the Strahota family can be found here.